Meet Armando, the $1.4M Pigeon

Racing bird likely to spend his next years making babies
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2019 7:25 AM CDT

Someone just paid $1.4 million for a pigeon—but not just any pigeon. Armando is the "best Belgian long-distance pigeon of all time," according to auction house Pipa, which oversaw a bidding war between two buyers from China, where pigeon racing is popular among the wealthy. The previous record price for a racing pigeon was roughly $427,000, per the BBC. But "this pigeon has a race record that has never been matched by any other pigeon," Pipa founder Nikolaas Gyselbrecht tells the Press Association. "In [soccer] terms you have Messi and Ronaldo—it's that level."

Still, the online auction price may seem high considering Armando, who turns 5 this year, is now in retirement. Per the BBC, it's likely the pigeon's new owner will breed him—he has about five years left in that department—and then race his offspring. As Time reports, "bird owners can win plenty of their money back by betting on the correct winged competitor, with prizes in the tens of thousands of dollars." (The sale moves this pigeon down a peg.)

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