updated 4/4/2005 9:58:05 AM ET 2005-04-04T13:58:05

An Italian and a Nigerian cardinal are tied as Irish bookmakers’ favorites to succeed Pope John Paul II.

More than 5,000 people have placed bets on who will be the next pope with Paddy Power PLC, Ireland’s largest bookmaking chain.

The early favorites are Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy and Francis Arinze of Nigeria, both listed on 11-4 odds. That means a winning $4 bet would pay out $15.

Betting resumed Monday in shops and on the Internet on the question, “Who will be the next pope?” The firm had suspended betting for one day Sunday out of respect to John Paul, who died Saturday.

The biggest bet so far, $1,300, has been on Tettamanzi. The company said most bets are for much smaller amounts.

Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras is third with 9-2 odds, while Joseph Ratzinger of Germany and Claudio Hummes of Brazil both follow with odds of 7-1.

Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino of Cuba, Ennio Antonelli of Italy and Christoph Schoenborn of Austria come next, all at 14-1. Giovanni Battista Re of Italy stood alone at 16-1, while three others — Dario Castrillon Hoyos of Colombia, and Crescenzio Sepe and Giacomo Biffi, both of Italy — merited 18-1.

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