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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 16:26 GMT
Betting opens on new Potter plot
JK Rowling
JK Rowling has amassed a 540m fortune
Bets are being taken on whether boy wizard Harry Potter will die in the final instalment of the series - with his arch-enemy the predicted killer.

JK Rowling, the multi-millionaire creator of the story, has hinted that tragedy awaits in the final novel.

Lord Voldemort is the 4-5 favourite to kill off the popular character in the seventh book in the series, entitled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Bookmakers William Hill said punters think the young wizard will die.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: "JK mentioned that Harry might be killed off and the general consensus seems to be that Harry is the final Horcrux and to ensure that Voldemort dies he will need to be sacrificed."

Other assassins

In the Potter books, a Horcrux can hold a person's soul ensuring that they are immortal but Harry has to destroy them all to vanquish his enemy Voldemort.

Mr Adams added: "Most of the early money has been for Harry, who has been cut from 10/1 to 6/1."

All bets will be void and stake money will be returned if Harry confounds pundits and survives.

Other contenders to kill Harry include Professor Snape at 5-2, Draco Malfroy at 6-1, Ron Weasley at 6-1 and Hermione Granger at 6-1.

Mr Adams added that the bookies have also accepted punts on Ron and Hermione to marry, with Harry as best man, and on Harry to catch the snitch in a Quidditch world cup.

Rowling, 41, is still writing the final book of a series that has sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

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21 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
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20 Dec 06 |  Edinburgh and East

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