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The 'papal pandemonium': So much to do while you wait

Cardinals attend the Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass on Tuesday morning at St. Peter’s Basilica before entering the conclave to decide who the next pope will be.

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Cardinals attend the Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice Mass on Tuesday morning at St. Peter’s Basilica before entering the conclave to decide who the next pope will be.

Tired of waiting for March Madness to distract you from your job? Don't fret. We have something to tide you over: Papal Pandemonium (gambling included). Millions of people around the world are eagerly awaiting the white smoke to puff from the Sistine Chapel chimney. The Vatican offers almost no insight into the election process, but there's plenty to do while you wait.

The gambling site PaddyPower.com is taking bets on who will be the next Catholic leader. Cardinal Sean O'Malley appears to be America's best chance at 14 to 1. Longest odds? Bono — yeah, that one — at 1,000 to 1 (still not a good bet).

You're probably thinking the Internet is to blame for this not-so-holy habit. Wrong. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, people have been gambling on papal elections for at least 500 years.

For the seriously committed onlookers, check out the Vatican site for a live feed of, at the moment, people walking in the rain at St. Peter's Square. You can also check out popealarm.com, a Catholic site that will text or email registrants when a pope has been selected.

For Twitter users, @PapalSmokeStack promises to offer the same service, according to its profile: "Informing the world of the Holy Spirit's choice as the new Bishop of Rome."

But to really get into the papal-electing mood, check out Spotify, which actually offers a conclave-themed music list. No word if it's pope-approved.

The 'papal pandemonium': So much to do while you wait 03/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 5:34pm]
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