Olympic Odds Awry?

Three questions:

  1. Why would any city want to host the Olympics?
  2. Why were the odds so awry on the 2016 hosting city? I had assumed Rio would win in a walk, and yet, as shown in the following figure, Chicago was the favorite among oddsmakers.odds 
  3. Finally, why the hell didn’t I notice how awry the Olympics odds were and place a bet? Yeesh.

[Update] The Intrade graph for North America host city. Given the low trading volumes, that had to be part of the problem here.


[Update 8/3/2009] A few people have asked why I think the odds were all that awry, when they implied that Chicago was only a slight favorite over Rio. True enough, but Chicago went out in the first round, Tokyo in the second, and Madrid in the third, implying that Chicago was the fourth choice of the IOC among the finalist cities, not a slight favorite for first.