-Edited by Chinedu Nwaduru, ABH Press

It’s impossible to name the favorites for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

Why? Because the list of 331 nominees – 216 individuals and 115 organizations – isn’t made public, leaving the world to a guessing game and, for the especially ambitious among us, to wager on a list of potential winners that includes President Donald Trump,  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pope Francis and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The winner of the award, given annually since 1901 to the person or group that has done the most to advance world peace, will be announced Friday at 5 a.m. EST in Oslo, Norway. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was the 2017 winner.

The list of previous winners includes four former U.S. Presidents: Barack Obama (2009), Jimmy Carter (2002), Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Theodore Roosevelt (1906), as well as other dignitaries including Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), Henry Kissinger (1973), Mother Teresa (1979) and Mikhail Gorbachev (1990).

Who will win this year? According to oddschecker.com, which aggregates odds from online betting sites, Kim and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, have the top odds at 5/6, followed by Trump (6-1) and the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta (16-1).

The winner is selected by a five-member panel named by Norway’s parliament, the Storting.

Here are a few of the most notable names on the oddschecker ’ list:

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in

• The North Korean leader and South Korean president  signed a peace agreement last month that could lead to denuclearization. It would formally end the Korean War, which ended in an armistice 65 years ago.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters 

Joshua Wong and Umbrella Movement protesters could be recognized for their non-violent activism for political freedom. Wong, 21, helped lead the 79 days of protests in Hong Kong in 2014.  

Pope Francis 

• Although Pope Francis has received criticism for his handling of sex abuse scandals, TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year is one of the most popular bets to win the prize. 


• The American Civil Liberties Union led a lawsuit that halted the Trump’s administration’s policy of separating children and parents at the Mexican border.

Angela Merkel 

• Germany’s four-term chancellor, who has been described as the de facto leader of Europe, and reached a grand coalition deal in February. 

George Soros 

• The liberal financier and philanthropist chairs the Open Society Foundations and is a super PAC donor. 


• Formed in 1950, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees supports refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. It previously won the prize in 1954 and 1981.

Donald Trump

Republican lawmakers nominated the president in May for working to “end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula, and bring peace to the region.”

Culled from usatoday.com

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