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Miss Spain Angela Ponce adjusts her hair on her arrival in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Ponce is the first transgender who participates in the final competition of the Miss Universe scheduled on Dec. 17, 2018 in Bangkok.

At first glance, there’s nothing in particular that makes Miss Spain stand out at the upcoming Miss Universe competition – just another beautiful and talented woman among the dozens of others who will represent their countries at the annual pageant in Bangkok, Thailand on December 16-17.

But there is something unique and very inspiring about Angela Ponce – she is the first transgender woman to represent any country at the international competition. Ponce had competed in the Miss Universe Spain pageant previously, but this is her first time winning the qualifying event and she will be a trailblazer for future transgender competitors.

Transgender Competitors Were Banned Until 2012

Miss Universe, famously owned by Donald Trump until he began his political career, did not allow transgender competitors until 2012. The irony is not lost, then, that after Trump’s attempt to ban transgender individuals from the United States military, it will be a former business of his that will celebrate diversity and draw attention to transgender issues facing the world today.

Ponce has indicated that she will be using her position as Miss Spain to call action to transgender discrimination, transgender teen suicide rates and laws around the world that affect the transgender community.

The Betting World Has Taken Notice

Betting on the Miss Universe pageant is not new, but there has been an intense interest in this year’s event due to Ponce breaking new ground. It also appears that bettors are backing Ponce not only to compete but to win.

Miss Spain opened with +5000 betting odds at online shop [custom:bovada-link] but betting action has moved her odds all the way to +1000. In other words, from a 50-to-1 longshot to 10 to 1. These are better odds than other contenders Miss Brazil, Miss Ecuador and Miss Vietnam at +1500.

Current Betting Favorites

While Ponce’s odds offer very good value, the betting favorites remain Miss Philippines (+500), Miss Puerto Rico (+500), Miss Thailand (+800) and Miss USA (+800).

Miss South Africa won last year’s event and South Africa sits at +1200 to repeat, although there have never been back-to-back winners from the same country.

The United States has won the event on eight occasions but has not claimed the crown since 2012. Venezuela has the second-most wins all-time at seven, while Puerto Rico is third with five wins.

Check below for full betting odds for the 2018 Miss Universe Pageant:

2018 Miss Universe Pageant Betting Odds
Competitor Odds
Miss Puerto Rico +500
Miss Philippines +500
Miss USA +800
Miss Thailand +800
Miss Spain +1000
Miss Venezuela +1000
Miss South Africa +1200
Miss Australia +1400
Miss Brazil +1500
Miss Vietnam +1500
Miss Ecuador +1500
Miss Canada +2000
Miss Colombia +2000
Miss Peru +2000
Miss Russia +2000
Miss Costa Rica +2500
Miss France +2500
Miss Mexico +2500
Miss Aruba +3300
Miss Cambodia +3300
Miss India +3500
Miss Ireland +3500
Miss Finland +4000
Miss Curacao +4000
Miss Haiti +5000
Miss Ukraine +5000
Miss Iceland +6000
Miss Georgia +6000
Miss Korea +6000
Ms Sweden +6000
Miss Israel +6600
Miss Italy +6600
Miss China +6600
Miss Denmark +6600
Miss Dominican Republic +6600
Miss Japan +6600
Miss Lebanon +6600
Miss Croatia +7500
Miss Great Britain +7500
Miss Nepal +7500
Miss Namibia +7500
Miss Paraguay +7500
Miss Poland +7500
Miss Indonesia +8000
Miss Jamaica +8000
Miss Germany +8000
Miss Angola +8000
Miss El Salvador +8000
Miss Argentina +10000
Miss Egypt +10000
Miss Ethiopia +10000
Miss Armenia +10000
Miss Belgium +10000
Miss Bolivia +10000
Miss British Virgin Islands +10000
Miss Cayman Islands +10000
Miss Norway +10000
Miss Panama +10000
Miss Czech Republic +10000
Miss Singapore +10000
Miss Slovak Republic +10000
Miss Slovenia +10000
Miss Sri Lanka +10000
Miss Turkey +10000
Miss U.S. Virgin Islands +10000
Miss Uruguay +10000
Miss Malaysia +12500
Miss Malta +12500
Miss Guatemala +12500
Miss Nicaragua +12500
Miss Nigeria +12500
Miss Honduras +12500
Miss Laos +12500
Miss Chile +12500
Miss Kazakhstan +12500
Miss Portugal +12500
Miss Trinidad and Tobago +12500
Miss Mauritius +15000
Miss Myanmar +15000
Miss Netherlands +15000
Miss New Zealand +15000
Miss Saint Lucia +15000
Miss Bahamas +20000
Miss Barbados +20000
Miss Bulgaria +20000
Miss Ghana +20000
Miss Guam +20000
Miss Guyana +20000
Miss Iraq +20000
Miss Romania +20000
Miss Tanzania +20000
Miss Zambia +20000

Odds as of December 12 at [custom:bovada-link]