Date: 19th March 2003

Book closed as Chicago is hot favourite

Ladbrokes have closed the book on the Oscars because Chicago is such a strong favourite to sweep the board.

The bookmaker is now only taking bets on how many gongs the musical will scoop - with odds of 6/1 that it will win 10 or more.

The film, starring Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones, has 13 nominations at this Sunday's Academy Awards.

Zellweger is in the running for best actress while Zeta Jones will vie for the best supporting actress award with co-star Queen Latifah. Other nominations include best picture and best director.

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: "There have been a number of indicators in recent weeks that point to a night of celebration for Chicago.

Ladbrokes has taken the decision only to offer betting on the number of awards the film will actually win as there hasn't been such a leading favourite for Oscar domination in a long time."

Source: Press Release



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