09/29/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT
Amid suspicions that some people may know too much, an offshore gambling operation has put on hold all bets on the outcome of The Apprentice 2, citing what it calls an "unusual betting pattern on two contestants."
"We don't know if this is some kind of link to the contestants or some way involved with the production," BestWWTS.com betting director Stuart Doyle tells the Associated Press. "When this has happened before, it's because someone has known the outcome."
The wagers in question were placed in New Hampshire, but according to NBC, none of this season's Apprentice contestants appears to have ties to the state.
Last year, CBS's Survivor: Pearl Islands' Ft. Lewis, Wash.-based winner Sandra Diaz-Twine was a betting favorite near her hometown before the season even kicked off, which caused the Antigua-based BestWWTS.com to suspend wagering on the show. Similar situations developed during Survivor: The Amazon and the second installment of ABC's The Bachelor.
"We are considering not offering betting on reality shows that have been pre-taped," said Doyle. "It simply seems impossible not to have to suspend them very quickly."
SPOILER ALERT: Possible Apprentice 2 finalists to be revealed.
According to BetWWTS.com, concerns were raised when a maximum bet of $300 was placed on lawyer Jennifer Massey, 30, from San Francisco and software executive Kelly Perdew, 37, from Carlsbad, Calif. Several similar $300 bets reportedly were placed on those same two contestants the very next day from accounts in New Hampshire.
"When we see a lot of bets with $300 then that's very suspicious," said Doyle, noting that the average bet is closer to $25.
In response, NBC told the news service: "We're not going to speculate on the outcome at all. The finale is live and there won't be a winner until the finale."
So far Bradford Cohen, a 33-year-old attorney from Ft. Lauderdale, and Stacie Jones Upchurch, a 35-year-old restaurateur from New York City, have been knocked out of the game by Donald Trump's boardroom catchphrase, "You're fired."