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Swedish journalist claims Obama Nobel jackpot

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17:06 CEST+02:00
While the decision to award US President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize has been received by widespread surprise, one Swedish journalist is toasting the Norwegians after winning 50,000 kronor ($7,177) betting on the outcome.

Peter Lindholm, a journalist working on the free Swedish newspaper Metro, tipped Obama for the prize after reading the line up of artists booked to perform at the gala concert in the Oslo Spektrum arena on December 11th.

"As soon as I saw the artists, a penny dropped," Lindholm told the Resumé newspaper.

The line up, which includes a slew of Obama favourites, and is set to be hosted by close ally Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, was all that Lindholm needed to write up an article for the paper predicting the US president to emerge as the winner.

The enterprising hack decided to back up his hunch with hard cash and wagered 1,000 kronor on the Nobel committee plumping for Obama, despite the fact that when nominations closed for the prestigious prize the former Illinois senator had only been in office for a number of weeks.

Barack Obama's status as a rank outsider, with names such as Bill Clinton, Afghanistan's Ghazi din Muhammad and Colombian freedom fighter Piedad Córdoba tipped for the prize, was reflected in the odds of 50-1 given to Lindholm.

"50,000 kronor. A pretty good commission," Lindholm said to the newspaper.

While Lindholm enjoys the fruits of his labour, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairperson Thorbjørn Jagland was left to explain the surprise choice.

"Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples...The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'"

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