Among all the Nobel Prizes won by Israelis, the literature award has all but eluded citizens of the Jewish state, and odds showed the 46-year drought continuing after the winner was announced on Thursday afternoon.
Novelist Amos Oz had the best chance of bringing the prize home for the first time since S.Y. Agnon won in 1966, according to British betting site Ladbrokes, which places the kibbutz-raised novelist at 16 to 1 odds.
But Oz was disappointed again, as Chinese novelist Mo Yan, who was given 8 to 1 odds, won the award.
Japanese writer Haruki Murakami had been the favorite with 6 to 4 odds.
A.B. Yehoshua was also a mid-range shot to win the prestigious award with 50-1 odds. Tel Aviv-born Daniel Kahneman, who won the 2002 prize in economics, was a longer shot still at 66 to 1 odds.
Even if Israelis aren’t favored, Jewish writers might have been thought to have a better chance. Folk singer Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman, was 10 to 1 to win the prize and Philip Roth was 16 to 1.