Youth pastor Justin Narayan was crowned as MasterChef Australia winner and received $250,000 and a shiny new trophy for his efforts on the show. However, his win was quickly marred by controversy.
Reports published only days before the MasterChef Australia winner was announced, read that there were some suspicious odds and price movements on the winner of the show ahead of the public announcement.
According to one report in The Australian, the MasterChef winner may have been leaked to some individuals, as there was an influx of bets on Justin Narayan which caused his odds to plummet.
Only One Ending was Filmed
That report quoted an insider who informed them that, unlike in previous years, this year only one MasterChef ending was filmed. In the past, producers of the show would film two endings with two different winners to throw off people with insider’s access as to who the winner would be.
That ensured that the winner of the show was not leaked to the public. However, according to that insider, the producers this year decided to go with just one ending and one winner.
The Australian did report that the show’s producer, Endemol Shine, would continue to film two endings, but from next year. That means that insiders could have very easily shared/bet on this year’s winner without having to try and figure out which of the two endings was the one that would be aired.
Narayan Became the Odds-On Favourite Just as the Show Ended
And if you look at the movement of odds in the MasterChef market, you will definitely notice that something is not right. Just as producers finished filming the show’s finale on May 13, Justin Narayan’s Sportsbet and Tabcorp odds started plummeting.
Narayan started the day as an outsider behind frontrunner Pete Campbell but soon turned into an odds-on favourite. After the show’s finale, you could get between $1.08 and $1.50 on Narayan to win MasterChef.
Pete Campbell, who was the favourite at about $2.50 before the show shot its final episode, moved to $6 as soon as filming stopped. That doesn’t seem right.
Once those abrupt changes took place, the MasterChef market remained stable. Justin Narayan continued to be the favourite until the winner was announced publicly, and had odds of $1.28 on Sportsbet right before the show’s finale was aired.
Campbell, on the other hand, was no longer the second favourite and dropped behind Kishwar Chowdhury. Campbell’s odds on the day the winner was to be announced were $7, while Chowdhury was priced at $5.50 by Sportsbet.