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This is never mentioned in the book but I'm wondering if there was a way to figure out how much gold Fred and George ended up winning, even if they didn't receive it.

I'm wondering if it got mentioned and I just missed it in the books?

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    They received 0% of their winnings, so "nothing"
    – Valorum
    Jul 28, 2017 at 19:09
  • the most random question ever
    – Mor Zamir
    Sep 19, 2019 at 6:11

4 Answers 4

20

Unfortunately we don't know. While we know how much Fred and George bet, we don't know what the odds were, so we can't calculate the winnings.

‘We’ll bet thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, three Knuts,’ said Fred, as he and George quickly pooled all their money, ‘that Ireland win – but Viktor Krum gets the Snitch. Oh, and we’ll throw in a fake wand.’

‘You don’t want to go showing Mr Bagman rubbish like that –’ Percy hissed, but Bagman didn’t seem to think the wand was rubbish at all; on the contrary, his boyish face shone with excitement as he took it from Fred, and when the wand gave a loud squawk and turned into a rubber chicken, Bagman roared with laughter.

‘Excellent! I haven’t seen one that convincing in years! I’d pay five Galleons for that!

Percy froze in an attitude of stunned disapproval.

‘Boys,’ said Mr Weasley under his breath, ‘I don’t want you betting... that’s all your savings... your mother –’

‘Don’t be a spoilsport, Arthur!’ boomed Ludo Bagman, rattling his pockets excitedly. ‘They’re old enough to know what they want! You reckon Ireland will win but Krum’ll get the Snitch? Not a chance, boys, not a chance... I’ll give you excellent odds on that one... we’ll add five Galleons for the funny wand, then, shall we...’

Mr Weasley looked on helplessly as Ludo Bagman whipped out a notebook and quill and began jotting down the twins’ names.

‘Cheers,’ said George, taking the slip of parchment Bagman handed him and tucking it away carefully.
Goblet of Fire - Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch

(emphasis mine)

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    While we don't know exactly, the odds of that have to be really low. For one thing, its worth 15 times more than a normal score. For another, since it ends the game, there's no good reason to actually snatch it if you are so far behind. That would effectively lose your side the match. This would be worse than a football team engaging in clock-killing play while behind. You'd to better to wait until your team manages to get the score within 150 points, and in the meantime try to decoy or interfere with the other seeker.
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 28, 2017 at 20:28
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    @T.E.D. Unless your team is so far behind both in score and talent, which is what the twins were counting on, and what happened. Jul 29, 2017 at 1:31
  • @T.E.D. you mean, high odds, not low quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/high-odds-or-low-odds, right?
    – user68762
    Jul 29, 2017 at 9:16
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    Hm. After a bit of deliberation, i marked it as 'not an answer', as it is more of the expansion of the Q, really. After all, while we dont know the odds we know that 1. They were high 2. What the twins planned to do with it (joke shop) 3.data about the price of merchandise in such a shop. Also knowing JKR's approach to math and Harry's impression that his TWT winnings would compensate the twins we can make an educated guess about the amount to narrow it down. While there could be cases where "we don't know" is a legitimate answer, here it's not the case.
    – user68762
    Jul 29, 2017 at 12:33
5

Was just re-reading Goblet of Fire, and was bothered by this just now... especially as, when the Goblet of Fire is announced, George is excited by the prize of 1000 Galleons. I mean, we know they're an enterprising bunch, but if they won several magnitudes larger than 1000 galleons, we know he might not be as interested, right?

Put another way, what are the possible bounds of what they might have won? Are there ways of determining an upper and lower limit?

At the very worst, they're betting 4:1 odds. I don't think that qualifies as the "excellent odds" that Ludo mentioned, but rationally, there's a simple chart you can draw from 2 factors being tested; either

  • Irish win and get the snitch, or
  • Bulgarians win and get the snitch, or
  • Bulgarians win, but Irish get the snitch, or
  • Irish win but Bulgarians get the snitch (what happpend).

How much did the start with again? 42.98 Galleons; by converting 29K = 1S and 17S = 1G, and selling their wand, they get to almost 43 Galleons. So with our lower bound set, what does their 43G get? 172 Galleons. Again, that's the lower bound; only what happened if Ludo sweet talked and then screwed them.

What about a higher bound? Well if we truly compare this to gambling in other sports, the bookmaker (Ludo) would have either used a standard power ranking system, or come up with his own to rate all the players of both teams, possibly relying in part or fully on feel/common knowledge/intangible factors.

I tried looking at similar cases in other sports; the best I can think of is grand slams. At least one source suggested that, 85% of the time, grand slams are made by members of the winning team. That would give odds of 17:3, and a winning sum of 287G.

But it's much easier to get a grand slam than the snitch but still be on the losing side, right? The other team would need to score at least 160 points ahead of your team with the quaffle; in baseball, you have to be just 4 runs ahead. Seems very unlikely. You would have to have a very bad team and a very good seeker. But maybe point inflation would affect the ratios? At this point, I should really admit my ignorance - I'm a complete amateur at odds and my math is rusty, so if anyone else knows more about odds probability please add in!

But let's just guess, what if they got something like 20:1 odds? That seems more in line with the type of bet we're talking about here (Ludo's "excellent odds"). That would get them 860G. In fact, you have to get up to 24:1 to get to the 1000G that Harry gives the twins at the end of the book.

But while we're throwing numbers around, what would be outrageous? 100:1 odds? At very most, Fred & George might've conceivably received 4300G... I'd put that at an upper bound, sort of as an outlier. It's much more likely that Fred and George received something in he ballpark of what Harry gave them - but possibly much less, resulting in Harry's gift being especially generous.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. I'm not sure this is a sufficiently narrow estimate as to be an answer, you seem to be covering all eventualities...
    – DavidW
    Nov 15, 2019 at 6:48
-2

1000 Galleons

That is how much Harry gave them (his Triwizard prize) to make up for them being cheated by Ludo Bagman.

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    That wasn't their bet winnings. It was an unrelated donation from Harry, probably exceeding the amount they would have actually won. Jul 29, 2017 at 7:36
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    @TheDarkLord i duno if it's unrelated. It seems the twins thought that if they'll get their winnings, they'd get the capital to open a joke shop, then Harry happened to win a lot of gold which was apparently enough for the twins to open a joke shop. Probably the two amounts are close. After all Ludo thought the bet was crazy.
    – user68762
    Jul 29, 2017 at 8:42
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    @Nahiri And that would make the odds around 20 to 1. Which doesn't seem unreasonably high, given the (apparent) ridiculousness of Krum grabbing the Snitch when they're more than 150 points down.
    – owjburnham
    Jul 29, 2017 at 8:53
  • @owjburnham yep, they needed sthg extreme to bet to get nuff galleons for their plan and apparently knew the strong points & weaknesses of both teams 2b right. Seeing that most of the wizards present were also quidditch fans knowledgeable about the subject it seems a bit far fetched that no one else but the twins thought of this bet and were able to place such high odds. But then i know zero about sports betting. ..
    – user68762
    Jul 29, 2017 at 9:11
-5

It is not mentioned in the book how much did they win, but I’m sure, they must have won a laaarggge amount.

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    Got anything more precise than "a large amount" to edit in? Some educated speculation, as the accepted answer did, stuff like that? As it stands this is an answer, but not a very thorough one - you could probably improve it.
    – Jenayah
    Sep 19, 2019 at 5:57

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