, which calls itself "the world's largest independent bookmaker," said today that it is expecting millions of pounds to be gambled on the contestants in the British version of Simon Cowell's The X Factor this season. (A U.S. version is due to be launched in 2011.) In a statement, Betfred spokesman Mark Pearson said, "The British public now vote for their favorite with their wallet[s]. Millions will be gambled on the hopefuls and we'll be taking on extra staff to cover results night." For the show's first five seasons, the X Factor winner has gone on to top the British record charts, but in a surprise last year, the winner, Joe McElderry, lost out to America's Rage Against The Machine. Said Pearson "Hopefully us bookies won't be out of tune because last year's winner Joe McElderry cost us a few quid [pounds]."