Europe

English soccer team, 5,000-1 longshots, close in on title

  • FILE - In this Sunday, April 17, 2016 file photo Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa celebrates with teammates Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater after scoring a last minute penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and West Ham United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. Bought from second-division team Brighton in 2014, Ulloa goal tally of 13 helped Leicester retain its Premier League status last season. His role has been reduced with the arrival of Okazaki this time around, but his decisive strike in the 1-0 win against Norwich in February could prove crucial to securing the title. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, April 17, 2016 file photo Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa celebrates with teammates Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater after scoring a last minute penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and West Ham United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. Bought from second-division team Brighton in 2014, Ulloa goal tally of 13 helped Leicester retain its Premier League status last season. His role has been reduced with the arrival of Okazaki this time around, but his decisive strike in the 1-0 win against Norwich in February could prove crucial to securing the title. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, March 14, 2016 file photo Leicester's Ngolo Kante during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. The club’s first signing last year from French team Caen when Claudio Ranieri was appointed manager, Kante has been one of the best midfielders in the league. Like Drinkwater, he made his international debut in March for France and scored. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, March 14, 2016 file photo Leicester's Ngolo Kante during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. The club’s first signing last year from French team Caen when Claudio Ranieri was appointed manager, Kante has been one of the best midfielders in the league. Like Drinkwater, he made his international debut in March for France and scored. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday Feb. 6, 2016 file photo Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, right, shoots wide past Leicester City's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England.  The son of title-winning Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Kasper is a Denmark international who has played for Leicester since 2011, when the club was in England’s second division. He has 15 shutouts this season in the league. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday Feb. 6, 2016 file photo Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, right, shoots wide past Leicester City's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. The son of title-winning Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Kasper is a Denmark international who has played for Leicester since 2011, when the club was in England’s second division. He has 15 shutouts this season in the league. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)  (The Associated Press)

Bettors looking for a wager with a fancifully high payoff last summer could have risked a bit of cash on the proposition that Elvis Presley would be found alive.

Or they could have placed their money on a true longshot: The laughable idea that the lowly Leicester City Foxes soccer club would somehow surge to the top of the world-class English Premier League.

Elvis surfacing in good health was a 2,000 to one shot; the Foxes taking the top spot was rated even more unlikely, at 5,000 to one odds.

Now the Foxes are on the verge of one of the greatest upsets in the history of modern sports, and the impact of their astonishing run on Britain's betting industry is already being felt, with betting firms facing losses of some 10 million pounds ($14.6 million) as the Foxes close in on the top spot, which they can clinch as early as Sunday by beating Manchester United.