2021 Celebrity Death Pool

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ahoy, Shipmates, as we get ready for another year of, um, celebrity watching. Please read the rules carefully, as I have made a couple of minor additions and changes.

1. You must pick 13 well-known people whom you think will shuffle off this mortal coil in 2021. That is, starting from 00.01 UTC (GMT, really) on 1st January 2021and ending at 23.59 UTC on 31 December 2021, as determined by the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I’m in North America, but I’m keeping to the previous pools’ time zone rules. I run pools in two other boards, and they are six hours off of this one, so that will actually be a help.

2. The definition of "well-known" is that their deaths will be reported by at least one major news outlet. Examples outlets include (but are not limited to) The Guardian, CNN, IMDB, VeloNews, The Beano, The Austin Chronicle, and the Church Times.

3. All selections must be real natural born people. No fictional characters, abstract entities or "corporate persons" will be accepted. No matter what the US tax code or Supreme Court say, corporations aren't people, and people aren't corporations.

4. Points are awarded according to the following formula: 100 minus the celebrity's age at the time of death. For example, if the person you choose dies at the age of 67 you will earn 33 points. Should you pick someone who is 100 years old when they die you will receive no points, but may be in the running for one of the other awards.

5. You earn 50 bonus points if the death occurs in such a way as to clearly prove the existence of God (for example, if some doofus dies from burns after trying to torch a church), or they win an actual, bona-fide, certified Darwin award.

6. You cannot choose anyone under the age of 18 at the start of 2021. Yes, this caps your points-per-person potential at 82 but as I say, we may be macabre, but we’re not THAT macabre.

7. You may choose an inmate scheduled to be executed, but you only earn points if the person dies by some means other than the state-sponsored execution. For example, a shiv in the stomach counts; lethal injection does not.

8. You are disqualified if you contribute in any way to the death of one of your chosen candidates. Exceptions will be made if you are a police officer or member of the armed services and kill someone in the line of duty.

9. All entries must be submitted on this thread no later than 23.59 UTC on 31 December 2020. No entries will be accepted after this time. You may make changes to your list up until this time but only if someone pops their clogs before the beginning of the game or if you've put someone in twice. Surprisingly, this does happen.

10. I have one, humble request for players. This is a request, not a requirement. But, when you are entering your list with commentary or other notations, I would appreciate it if you also list the names without numbering of extra words.

Bob Smith
Jane Doe
Sam Spade

Is much easier to enter than:

1) Chairman of the Board Bob Smith
2) The Honourable Jane Doe
3) Sam Spade, an all around jerk

The only exceptions would be people who are known mostly BY their titles, so it would be Queen Elizabeth II, or Pope Francis, not Elizabeth Windsor or Jorge Bergolio.

If you have any questions about this request, please ask. Maybe what I should do is post my list very soon, both ways.

12. It’s very unlikely, buy I have seen it happen once, that the Opening Kickoff Award(see below) could be a tie. One year a game I moderated had two picked celebrities pass on the same day. I declared a tie, as I wasn’t going to do the research to discover which pick died earlier in the day. For a famous pre_DeathPool example of this, check the death dates for John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively, the second and third Presidents of the Unites States of America.

Bonus awards:

Opening Kickoff Award is: given for picking the first death of the game this year.

Quantity Not Quality Award: given for picking the most people who croak in 2021, regardless of their points value.

Inside Track With the Grim Reaper Award is given to the player with the most unique picks

Sudden Death: given for picking the last death in 2021.

Disclaimer: This is only a game. The Ship, its management and their associated lackeys do not necessarily endorse the death of any human being. One should not necessarily view this as a "wish list;" reviewing past years will show that truly evil and nasty dictators seem to have a habit of lingering while those figures we truly respect and admire often don't. Some players who Just Can't Score Points will put those they wish to hear from next year on the list.

The Circus is a place for games, not discussion of the rights or wrongs of those games. If you want to discuss the ethics of this one, there are other places you can do that.
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour.


  • BakerBaker Shipmate
    Ben Ferencz
    Buzz Aldrin
    Desmond Tutu
    Frank Borman
    Gail Halversen
    Jim Lovell
    Jo-Carroll Dennison
    John Stephen Akhwari
    Katsumi Tezuka
    Michael Collins
    Norman Lloyd
    Valentina Tereshkova
    William Anders

    1. Ben Ferencz, last living Nuremberg prosecutor
    2. Buzz Aldrin, astronaut who throws a mean punch
    3. Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop emeritus
    4. Frank Borman, Apollo 8 crew
    5. Gail Halversen, the Candy Bomber
    6. Jim Lovell, Apollo 8 crew
    7. Jo-Carroll Dennison, oldest living Miss America
    8. John Stephen Akhwari, Tanzanian marathon runner
    9. Katsumi Tezuka, Japanese actor
    10. Michael Collins, he got close enough to the moon to taste it
    11. Norman Lloyd, very old actor
    12. Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space
    13. William Anders, Apollo 8 crew
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Hostly Oink
    As there's been some discussion about whether we ought to take a break from the Celebrity Death Pool, I'm going to close it for the moment until a decision has been made.

    Piglet, Circus host

    Thread closed.
This discussion has been closed.