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- A result which leaves the bookies smiling

Bookmaker William Hill is rubbing its hands with joy after Richard Rogers walked off with this year's Stirling Prize.

Saturday's result is understood to have bagged William Hill thousands of pounds and has wiped away the misery of last year when the bookmaker was hit for a 'five-figure sum' following the controversial victory by Enric Miralles and RMJM's Scottish Parliament building.

And the discovery of unusual and 'suspicious betting patterns' last year sparked rumours that the result had been leaked - an allegation strongly denied by the RIBA.

This year William Hill has cleaned up with hardly any money going on Rogers' Barajas airport compared with Zaha Hadid's Phaeno Science centre - the bookies' favourite.

There was also a late run on Rogers' Welsh Assembly building, which William Hill believes was due to punters swayed by last year's Scottish Parliament victory.

Rupert Adams, of William Hill, said: 'We got absolutely stuffed last year - we got it all wrong because we thought they couldn't give a prize to a building which was so over budget and so late.

'This time we made a couple of thousand quid. It's not that much because the bets are usually only between £50 to £100 compared to hundreds of thousands on the horses.'

He said: 'We will definitely need to carry on running a book on the prize - but we do need to be careful.'

Bets were closed at 12.30pm on Saturday.

by Richard Waite

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