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Opening Odds to Win 2021 Nobel Peace Prize – WHO Favored, Trump Listed at Distant 14-1

JJ De La Torre

by JJ De La Torre in News

Updated Sep 10, 2020 · 11:01 AM PDT

Nobel peace prize
Who will take home the Nobel Peace Prize? Photo: ProtoplasmaKid [Wiki Commons]
  • The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Friday, October 9th
  • There are 318 candidates for the prize this year, the fourth-highest amount in the prize’s 120-year history 
  • See the odds and predictions on who will be the Nobel Peace Prize laureate below

In a world filled with uncertainty, one thing is consistent: there will be a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. While the Prize has been awarded nearly every year since its 1901 inception, a few years have been skipped for World Wars or other varying circumstances.

According to the Nobel website, this year there are 318 candidates for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. This number is the fourth highest of all time (2016 was the record, with 376 candidates submitted). Of the 318 candidates, 211 are individuals and 107 are organizations.

But don’t expect a shortlist. Nobel keeps their lips exceptionally tight on the list of submitted candidates. Their site says “Neither the names of nominators nor of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize may be divulged until 50 years have elapsed.”

While the nominations remain a great mystery, the detective work in guessing who will win is immensely hard. Perhaps that’s why the odds lately haven’t been great at predicting a winner.

Odds to Win 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Recipient Odds
World Health Organization +200
Jacinda Adern +350
Greta Thunberg +400
UNHCR +1200
Donald Trump +1400
Black Lives Matter +1600
Moon Jae-In +1800
Bill Gates +2000
Emmanuel Macron +3300
Julian Assange +3300
Vladimir Putin +3300
Boris Johnson +5000
Joe Biden +5000
Michelle Obama +6600

Odds taken Sept 10

Looking Back on History

Last year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”

It’s impressive Ahmed won the prize although Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg had the best odds.  Ahmed’s odds were behind Thunberg’s before the prize announcement.


The odds were even more off from the result in 2018. That year saw two recipients: Congolese gynecologist and Pentecostal pastor Denis Mukwege and Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad.

Mukwege and Murad shared the award for their collective investment of “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” But when the 2018 odds were released, neither of these recipients were even named as potential winners. There was a top ten of odds in which both Mukwege and Murad were absent.

The Trump Card

How bizarre it is to look back and see President Donald Trump with better odds than the actual recipients. With that said,  he has decent odds this year as well. Wondering why?

Far-right Norwegian lawmaker Christian Tybring-Gjedde nominated Trump this year for his efforts in the Middle East. While Nobel doesn’t reveal their own shortlist, those who submitted nominations for the prize are able to reveal so to the press.

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Tybring-Gjedde, as a member of the Norwegian Parliament,  has nomination privileges. He believes Trump should be considered for the prize because of his work “for a peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel which opens up for possible peace in the Middle East.”

It’s doubtful Trump will actually win, though. Perhaps we will see him lose out to someone not even listed in the odds this time around as well.

Changing Odds

Back in March,  Thunberg had the best odds of winning the 2020 prize. With the climate crisis still a primary concern on the world’s mind at that time, it makes complete sense Thunberg seemed poised to win.

It’s the second time Thunberg has been nominated. This year, the teenager was submitted for nomination by Swedish lawmakers, saying she helped open politicians’ eyes to the climate crisis. She also won Time‘s Person of the Year award last year for doing so.

But the climate crisis isn’t exactly on the forefront of people’s minds in this moment. The past six months have seen the world become a much different place. Between a virus spawning a global pandemic, political unrest, and racial uprising, 2020 has brought on unprecedented events that have changed the entire world.

Seeing the World Health Organization (WHO) have the best odds for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize not only makes sense, it would also be well deserved.

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Organizational Wins

Trend-wise, organizations tend to be awarded every couple of years. Particularly, organizations are the recipients in times when the world goes through a major global event or crisis.

Back in 1944, the Red Cross was awarded the prize following a five-year gap from awarding following World War II. Similarly, the United Nations won in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. More recently, various organizations have won every several years for work being done to abolish nuclear weapons.

The most recent organization recipient was in 2017 when the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won.

While Black Lives Matter is also a worthy recipient, the COVID-19 pandemic is still at the forefront of the entire world’s mind. While WHO do their best every day to try and stop the virus from spreading, they are sitting pretty as the best bet to go on this year.

Pick: World Health Organization (+200)

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