Betting on the Universe

Latvia’s Ieva Kokoreviča, a 19-year-old from Rīga, has a 40-1 chance of winning the Miss Universe contest on May 30, according to oddsmakers and online casino

Renata Sone from the Dominican Republic and Cynthia Olavarria from Puerto Rico are the surest bets, both listed at 12-1 odds. Miss Angola, Zenilde Josias, is the long shot at 250-1 odds.

The Miss Universe contest takes place in Bangkok, Thailand.

Kokoreviča, a public relations and advertising student, is the first representative from Latvia ever to the Miss Universe contest. (However, she’s not the first Latvian to participate. In 1963, 19-year-old Mārīte Ozere of Chicago won the Miss USA competition. She was the first naturalized American to compete. Ozere went on to represent the United States in that year’s Miss Universe pageant, making it to the semi-finals, according to Pageant Almanac.)

In her biography, Kokoreviča describes herself as independent.

“My parents had to work a lot,” Kokoreviča says, “which helped me become independent and accomplish my goals by myself.”

But, Ieva, what’s with the “national costume” we see you modeling? Sorry, but slapping a shield-sized sakta on a red dress does not make a national costume to us.

UPDATE 30 May 2005: It’s a good thing we didn’t put money on Latvia. Kokoreviča made it into the top 10, but did not advance to the final. And while Miss Dominican Republic and Miss Puerto Rico were among the five finalists, the title of Miss Universe went to Miss Canada, the Russia-born Natalie Glebova.

Ieva Kokoreviča

Latvia’s Ieva Kokoreviča models her “national costume” for the Miss Universe competition. (Photo from Miss Universe Web site)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “Betting on the Universe

  1. I am a very big fan of the Miss Universe Pageant. During this year’s competition, Miss Ieva Kokorevica had on one of the most beautiful gowns that I have ever seen. Could you please let me know where to get one and any other information that you think may be beneficial in helping me to obtain one? I would greatly appreciate your help.

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