Howard Jacobson wins Booker Prize

British writer Howard Jacobson has won the prestigious Booker Prize with his philosophical comedy "The Finkler Question."

Jacobson has been on the long list twice for the 50,000 pounds ($80,000) prize, but had not been shortlisted until this year.

He beat five other writers including two-time winner Australian Peter Carey; bookies' favorite Briton Tom McCarthy; Andrea Levy, who also writes from Britain; Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue, and South Africa's Damon Galgut.

The Booker is open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies. Last year's winner, Hilary Mantel's Tudor saga "Wolf Hall," became an international best-seller.