These Are the Top Contenders for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

3 minute read

With the Nobel Peace Prize winner due to be announced at 6am ET on Friday, speculation is running rampant about which do-gooder(s) might be taking home the prestigious award.

British bookmaker William Hill said it had seen a flurry of last minute betting on the prize, awarded almost every year since 1901 to the candidate who the Nobel committee decides has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses“.

“We have never had such a volatile Nobel Peace Prize market – there seem to be a number of camps all of whom are convinced that the candidate they are championing is going to be the winner,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Based on bets placed at William Hill, these are the five people with the highest odds of winning the prize tomorrow morning:

1. Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is odds-on favorite to win the prize tomorrow morning. This year she has steered Germany through Europe’s migrant crisis, adopting a stance of of openness and compassion to the influx of refugees, and helped keep the European Union together as Greece struggled to stay solvent.

2. Mussie Zerai

Mussie Zerai is an Eritrean priest who founded the humanitarian organization “Habeshia,” which helps refugees fleeing war and persecution. Zerai receives distress calls from migrants at sea, then alerts the Coast Guard to their location.

3. Pope Francis

Pope Francis — named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2013 — had another high-profile year, releasing a sweeping encyclical on climate change in June, and helping repair relations between the United States and Cuba before visiting both countries in September. He has maintained calls for compassion towards immigrants both in the U.S. and in Europe.

4. Denis Mukwege

Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist who founded Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in treating women who have been raped. He was considered a favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize last year, as well.

5. Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta is an independent newspaper in Russia. The paper, which was started with Nobel Peace Prize money won by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, was praised this year for its balanced coverage of the crisis in Ukraine.

Others on bookmakers’ lists include UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, exiled U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and the World Health Organization.

See the 20 Most Famous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

President Obama speaks on healthcare and the Affordable Care Act
Barack Obama, 2009 "For his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples"Brooks Kraft—Corbis
03/25/2006. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Dortmund.
Mohamed ElBaradei, 2005Shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way"Patrick Piel—Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Aspen Institute Holds Awards Dinner
Jimmy Carter, 2002"For his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"Mario Tama—Getty Images
Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan, 2001Shared with the United Nations "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"Courtney Kealy—Getty Images
Portrait Of Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres, 1994"To honour a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East"Thomas Imo—Photothek/Getty Images
Yitzhak Rabin, 1994"To honour a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East"MENAHEM KAHANA—AFP/Getty Images
File picture of PLO chairman Arafat speaking during the ceremony of the sixth anniversary of the Palestinian declaration of independence
Yasser Arafat, 1994"To honour a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East"AHMED JADALLAH—Reuters
Nelson Mandela, 1993Shared with Frederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa"TREVOR SAMSON—AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) Photo dated 23 May 1996 shows My
Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991"For her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"EMMANUEL DUNAND—AFP/Getty Images
Mikhail S. Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990"For his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community"Diana Walker—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama, 1989"In his struggle for the liberation of Tibet [he] consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."Chris Langridge—Sygma/Corbis
Various Writers and Journalists
Desmond Tutu, 1984"[A] renewed recognition of the courage and heroism shown by black South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid"David Levenson—Getty Images
Elie Wiesel at Nobel Peace Prize Press Conference
Elie Wiesel, 1986"His belief that the forces fighting evil in the world can be victorious is a hard-won belief... based on his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps"Robert Maass—CORBIS
Mother Teresa, 1979"The loneliest, the most wretched and the dying have, at her hands, received compassion without condescension, based on reverence for man"Jean-Claude FRANCOLON—Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sedat, 1978"For the Camp David Agreement, which brought about a negotiated peace between Egypt and Israel"Sahm Doherty—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger, 1973"For the 1973 Paris agreement intended to bring about a cease-fire in the Vietnam war and a withdrawal of the American forces"Diana Walker—Getty Images
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964"First person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence"Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
Jane Addams, American reformer and feminist
Jane Addams, 1931"[F]or her social reform work" and "leading the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom"Universal History Archive/Getty Images
President Woodrow Wilson in the Oval Office
Woodrow Wilson, 1919"[F]or his crucial role in establishing the League of Nations"Bettmann/Corbis
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, 1906"[F]or his successful mediation to end the Russo-Japanese war and for his interest in arbitration, having provided the Hague arbitration court with its very first case"Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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