In The Goblet of Fire, Fred and George bet that Ireland would win but Viktor Krum would get the Snitch:

‘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.’

How did they know this? (Surely they would have had to be fairly certain to pool all their money.)

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    Ireland was a clear favourite, if memory serves, but Krum was the best seeker in the world (or so they say). Seems a reasonable assumption. Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 17:42
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    @Gallifreyan reasonable indeed. Allthough seeing as seekers are by a vast margin the most important players, it was in fact perhaps objectively more likely for Bulgaria to win the Snitch and the championship. In case the other Irish players' advantage were too big so they managed to grab 160 points advantage before Krum got to end the game (as in fact they did), the assumption was probably that Krum would then (by team order or whatever) not go for the Snitch whilst that would lose Bulgaria the game. Hence Bagman's high quote. (Not that his judgement is worth much...) Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 0:34
  • Irish chasers were top of the line but the seeker not so much. Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 4:24
  • Well the scoring system in Quidditch is, shall we say, less than rational at the best of times (seeing as the rules were probably designed with the end-goal of Harry being the big hero in mind). This is obviously more of a light jab at the books than an attempt at an answer, so it'll stay as a comment.
    – MPF
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 14:21
  • My reading of it was that they were torn between their twin urges of wanting Ireland to win and knowing that Krum was the best Seeker in the world. In true Fred-and-George fashion, they went for the unlikely outcome that both would happen, and bet all their money on it. A kind of joke at their expense that they would do something so foolish, with the punchline being when they actually win. Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 23:23

3 Answers 3


Ok, I've found a quote from JKR:

ES: How on earth did Fred and George know that Ireland would win and Bulgaria would get the Snitch?

JKR: Well, I think that if you were really into Quidditch you could have predicted that. What they had -

ES: But how can you predict that, because you don't know when the Snitch is going to show up.

JKR: It was a risk. They risked everything on it. That is Fred and George, isn't it? They are the risk-takers in the family. You've got Percy at one end of the family — conform, do everything correctly — and you've got Fred and George, who just take a totally different life path and were prepared to risk everything. They risked all they had, which is as much as anyone can do.

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    It probably helps that their utility function is quite binary at that point: all monetary values can either be divided into 'continue to live at your parents house while selling small joke items to raise some amount of money,' and 'have enough money to start the business and go massive.' Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 20:33

They knew that Ireland was the better team and that Krum was the better seeker. That Krum would catch it, but not in enough time before Ireland had outpaced them.

So the twins bet on a long-shot outcome, based on both those facts, and the idea of pride--that Krum would be too proud not to.

The game ends when the Snitch is caught. They were betting that Ireland would be too far ahead when it was spotted. If it was spotted by the Irish seeker, they were betting that Krum would beat him to it, because he's the best in the world.

The odds were so far in Ireland's favor, that the point spread probably indicated that Ireland would be so far ahead that it would not matter who caught the snitch, and Ireland would still win.

They were betting that Krum would see that, and end the game on his own terms. Ireland may have had the better team, but Bulgaria had the better seeker.

It's likely that they looked at the spread, and at Krum's behavior over time in his games.

Most of the time, if the big point bump and game end caused by the Snitch being caught won't put your team over the top, you might try to keep the other player from catching the Snitch, in the hopes that your team will catch up enough, but if all hope is lost, you might catch it just so the difference won't be so much.

"What did he catch the Snitch for?" Ron bellowed, even as he jumped up and down, applauding withhis hands over his head. "He ended it when Ireland were a hundred and sixty points ahead, the idiot!""He knew they were never going to catch up!" Harry shouted back over all the noise, also applauding loudly. "The Irish Chasers were too good... He wanted to end it on his terms, that's all..."

The twins likely knew this from analysing the game and the players beforehand. Ginny does the same thing as Krum when she fills in for Harry in Order of the Phoenix, when Gryffindor loses to Hufflepuff by 10 points (chapter 26).

They did not know it for certain, it is simply what they predicted. That's why it's called gambling.

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    If a couple of teenagers could successfully predict this by analysis, then why did they get such good odds? Bagman says something like "not a chance, boys". I always assumed they gambled wildly, based on Krum fandom and supporting Ireland, and just got lucky.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 10:15
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    @Randal'Thor It might have been something that had never been done before. Ginny "pulled a Krum" after Krum did. Remember too that the Twins are absolutely brilliant. Even Hermione expresses admiration for their tricky spellwork in their joke shop items. I don't believe that they were guessing wildly, not precisely--I think they were talking about it, said that it would make sense, realized that the odds would be so good that hardly anyone would think of it. They did get lucky, but I don't believe it was blind luck. Also Bagman was an idiot. Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 21:57
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    @Randal'Thor Bagman managed to build up massive amounts of gambling debt. He clearly wasn't very good at it, so I wouldn't put much stock in the odds he assigns to a particular outcome. Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 13:58

I think they got their hands on a totsy turvy time turny backy thing that Hermione had to go to the extra classes so that they could travel back in time. That’s how they knew the outcome. Full disclosure: my 10 year old figured it out and asked me. I checked the “internet” and no one came up with this explanation. My kid is a genius!

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    Time-Turners are ministry-regulated and highly guarded objects (They were stored in department of mysteries to which not even the regular ministry employees have access.) Unless you have a quote or a source from anywhere, I don't think this was the case.
    – dobby
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 6:40

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