JOHANNESBURG - Bookies didn't make a secret of whom they wanted to emerge as World Cup champions.
It was anybody but Germany.
Germany's style of play made them a popular pick for the World Cup title as the tournament progressed. With the money pouring in for Germany, bookies didn't want to see them come up winners.
The biggest World Cup bet ever was placed on Germany to beat Spain. Someone placed a €500,000 ($631,000) bet on Germany to beat Spain in their semifinal match. If Germany had won, the bettor would have won $1.2 million.
"There has never been a bigger World Cup bet placed and it follows a number of other hefty wagers on the Germans to win the tournament, including 80,000 euros at 14/1 and 100,000 euros at 13/2, and another 75,000 euros for them to reach the final," said a spokesperson for William Hill betting agency. "We don't much mind who wins the World Cup at this stage, as long as it isn't Germany."