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AHMM's Stirling Prize victory 'no big disaster' for bookies

Burntwood School by AHMM
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William Hill said it lost just £185 on the betting market for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize after outsider AHMM scooped the architectural competition

The practice’s design for Burntwood School in Wandsworth, south London was priced at 6/1 with the firm immediately before the awards ceremony began.

Rupert Adams, media relations manager at the bookie told the Architects’ Journal: ‘The reality is that we normally expect to lose a little bit on this market because the people who take part probably know a lot more about it than we do. It’s the same with the Booker prize.

‘We lost £185 which in the big scheme of things is no big disaster.’

Adams said that betting was evenly spread between all the entries on the list, indicating that nobody had been given inside information beforehand.

He said that William Hill would be offering prices on the competition again next year.

‘These niche markets are very interesting and we do a hell of a lot of them. Everyone has an opinion and we are happy to offer a price. If we lost £10,000 one year on the market then we would have a debate about whether we should continue it, but we aren’t in that situation.’

Burntwood started out as the bookies’ favourite, but odds on the 2,000-pupil girls’ school slipped dramatically during the last few weeks, eventually finishing as the outsider with odds as long as 10/1 with another betting firm.

Speaking to AJ immediately after receiving the Stirling Prize, Simon Allford: of AHMM said that he hadn’t put a bet on winning because he didn’t want to tempt fate.

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