Dead Pool

the dead pool

A death pool (or dead pool) is a game of prediction which involves guessing when someone will die. A typical pool might have players pick out celebrities who they think will die within the year. There are also several scoring variants. For example, a player might be rewarded few, if any, points for predicting the death of someone who is over 80 years old or is known to be suffering from a terminal disease. Another common method to calculate score is subtracting the celebrity’s age from 100. Other pools require participants to form a list ranked on how sure they are that a person on the list will die, with points given based on how high a person on their list is ranked, and others award points based on how many other contestants selected the deceased celebrity. Another variant on the game has a single point awarded for each correct prediction, regardless of the celebrity’s age or medical condition. The advantage of this scoring method is that there is more scoring, and it rewards research (learning which celebrities are experiencing failing health) rather than luck.

Definitions of celebrity vary from contest to contest. Smaller pools may rely on consensus of the players as to who is famous. Others require an obituary to appear in a recognized newswire such as the Associated Press or Reuters. The Lee Atwater Invitational Dead Pool employs a Fame Committee consisting of non-contestants who assess ahead of time the name-recognition of each celebrity. The Dead Pool, the largest in the world, uses the Notable Names Database (NNDB) as its source of qualified celebrities, and as arbiter of their life status.

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