Answer to the Freakonomics Quiz: the IOC Was Coming to Town

I told you this was an easy one.

A few days back, I asked why the park near my house was cleaner than ever before.

It took only three comments (congratulations to Donny, the winner) to get the right answer: the International Olympic Committee was coming to Chicago.

I happen to live about six blocks from Washington Park, which will be the home of the Olympic Stadium in 2016 if Chicago gets the Olympics. Currently, Washington Park is not the most well-utilized park (although some folks I’ve written about in the past get a lot of use out of it).

There was plenty of work for the army of workers who descended on the park this weekend; I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 100 people doing clean-up and landscaping.

It looks like the efforts paid off, according to this Chicago Tribune article. The prediction markets seem to agree. After a brief dip, Intrade now has Chicago back to even odds to get the Olympics.


Given Chicago's history of graft, corruption, backroom deals, and pay to play politics and the IOC's history of graft, corruption, backroom deals, and pay to play politics, not to mention the fact that our current president has the vast majority of his political ties there, I would put Chicago's odds of landing the olympics at about 95%. Can you actually wager on this at Intrade? If so, and they're giving even odds, it's the biggest lock of the century.


Have at it: