T-shirts printed with such references as "Who Shot J. R.?" and "I Shot J. R." became common over the summer, the latter eventually being seen in the first episode of Irish/British sitcom, Father Ted. Several media outlets held "Who shot J.R.?" contests.
During the 1980 United States presidential election, the Republicans distributed campaign buttons that claimed "A Democrat shot J. R.", while Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter joked that he would have no problem financing his campaign if he knew who shot J. R. When Hagman was offered Â£100,000 during a British vacation for the identity of the shooter, he admitted that neither he nor anyone in the cast knew the answer. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was among the millions worldwide intrigued by the mystery, and a session of the Turkish parliament was suspended to allow legislators a chance to get home in time to view the Dallas episode with the answer.
Betting parlors worldwide took bets as to which one of the 10 or so principal characters had actually pulled the trigger. International oddsmakers created a set of odds for the possible culprits: "Dusty Farlow (J. R.'s wife Sue Ellen's lover, who disappeared after a plane crash) is the 6 to 4 favorite, followed by Vaughn Leland (a banker J. R. swindled) and Kristin Shepard (J. R.'s mistress) at 4 to 1. Sue Ellen herself is a long shot at 25 to 1, as is J.R.'s long- suffering mom, Miss Ellie."