Paul’s Predictions – Recapped

Paul the eight-legged oracle is a genius or not???? Lets find out.

The eight-legged oracle - Paul

The octopus had a 100% success rate after getting 8/8 predictions right during the World Cup 2010. Paul as he is known as is a common octopus living in a tank at a Sea life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, who is used as an animal oracle to predict the results of football matches, usually international matches in which Germany is playing.

During a divination, Paul is presented with two boxes containing food in the form of a mussel, each marked with the flag of a national football team in an upcoming match. His predictions have been 100% (8/8) correct for the 2010 World Cup and 86% (12/14) correct overall. Assuming Paul’s predictions were no better than fair independent coin flips, the probability of 12 successful predictions in 14 attempts is 91/1684 ≈ 0.56% as given by the binomial distribution, and the probability of 8 successful predictions out of 8 attempts is 1/256 ≈ 0.39%.

Paul’s Predictions:

Opponent Stage Date Prediction Result Outcome
Poland Group Stage 8 June Germany Ger 2-0 Pol Correct
Croatia Group Stage 12 June Germany Ger 1-2 Cro Incorrect
Austria Group Stage 16 June Germany Aus 0-1 Ger Correct
Portugal Quarter-Final 19 June Germany Por 2-3 Ger Correct
Turkey Semi-Final 25 June Germany Ger 3-2 Tur Correct
Spain Final 29 June Germany Esp 1-0 Ger Incorrect

Opponent Stage Date Prediction Result Outcome
Australia Group Stage 13 June Germany Ger 4-0 Aus Correct
Germany Group Stage 18 June Serbia Ger 0-1 Srb Correct
Ghana Group Stage 23 June Germany Gha 0-1 Ger Correct
England Round of 16 27 June Germany Ger 4-1 Eng Correct
Argentina Quarter-Final 3 July Germany Arg 0-4 Ger Correct
Spain Semi-Final 7 July Spain Ger 0-1 Esp Correct
Uruguay 3-4 play-off 10 July Germany Uru 2-3 Ger Correct
Netherlands Final 11 July Spain Ned 0-1 Esp Correct
Germany Others
11 times 3 times
Home Team (Right Box) Away Team (Left Box)
6 times 8 times

FIFA World Cup 2010 – Paul’s Predictions (Videos):

My personal opinion is that it has nothing to do with its intelligence. It is dumb octopus which just loves mussels for lunch and the fact is that Paul is just a very very lucky octopus who is gaining the attention of the world!!!


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