Derby Dead Pool: Rules & Scoring

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The DDP will start accepting entries from Sunday 9th December 2018.
The entry period will officially close at 23:59 GMT on 31st December 2018. There follows a period where entries sent in the hours after that time will be entered at the host's discretion. The absolute deadline for that is 11:00 GMT on 1st January 2019. After that then the entry window is definitely closed!

Simply send a list of 20 names and a maximum of 3 substitutes to, along with your team name and an email address to be contacted by.
Make sure the spelling is correct and if the choices are obscure, that the host is made aware of who they are (no need to explain who Queen Elizabeth II is for example, but if it's her ninth cousin or something, the host will need to know).
Also bear in mind there are some celebrities with similar or even identical names (Roger Taylor the tennis player and Roger Taylor the drummer of Queen for example).

Important note: The joker will be the first name on your list and will be accepted by the host as such, so make sure your joker is top of the list!
Should one or more of your choices croak it before 31st December 2018, then a substitute will replace him/her. Should the premature death be a joker,
then the host will email you asking for a replacement joker from the existing list.
Once you have sent your list, apart from the above matter arising, the host will not accept any wholesale changes. One you've entered, that's pretty much it!
If celebs that are picked have died before the end of the year but it is only confirmed after the teams are uploaded onto the site (normally in the 2nd week of January) then no replacements will be made and of course no points can be scored.
When the host has received your email, a message will be sent confirming this. Don't expect a full confirmation of the team you have entered until
very late in the year/ early new year, depending on when you enter.
You will be contacted by the host for any queries regarding the names of the picks and what they do, if they are among the more obscure picks.
If you are entering again, but with a different team name, let the host know what your previous team name was.
There is a maximum number of 3 teams per individual (can be any combination of normal and theme teams) although there are some cases that certain emails will contain many teams as part of a "syndicate" of different teams.


Pick 20 different celebrities who are alive as at 1st January 2019, but who, in your opinion, will no longer be with us by 31st December 2019.
Nominate one of them as your "joker".
For each celeb demise that you guess correctly, you'll score points, and if your joker sadly passes away, your grief will be alleviated by the fact that you'll score double points.
We'll keep you updated on the site every time someone scores points, and there will be a (usually) up-to-date scoreboard on the website.
The team with the most points at the end of the year will, unsurprisingly, be deemed to be the winner.
In the event of a dead heat on points, the winner will be selected according to the following criteria, applied in this order:

  • The most hits (i.e. correctly-chosen deceased celebs).
  • The youngest average age of hits.
  • The person who has annoyed me least.


    All entrants must supply a team name and a valid email address. We will never reveal your email address to anyone else.
    All of your chosen celebs must be:

  • Human. No famous animals please.
  • At least 18 years old as at 1st January 2019. (i.e. born before  01/01/2001)
  • Actual real-life people, not characters out of soap operas and the like.
  • Named individuals, not just "Pope Wotsisface" or "the oldest person in the world".
  • Players must not murder their chosen celebs. That's cheating, and cheating is wrong and is not in the spirit of the game
  • "Sensitive" picks (normally terminally-ill people who "inspire" significant coverage in the news) are included in the competition but their identities may be masked to avoid possible backlash.
  • EXCLUSIONS: Prisoners on "Death Row" i.e. awaiting state execution can only score points if they die of other causes. Picks that are on trial or are put on trial and are found guilty and executed are not disqualified but will not claim the unnatural points bonus. Hostages of terrorist organisations. We have no absolute knowledge of whether they are alive, dead or when they supposedly died. Terrorist organisation members are included but there must be official verification of when they died from both sides of the conflict (i.e. "The West" and the terrorists themselves). Any person considered "missing in action" or not traced as of 01/01/2019 can only score points if their death is confirmed as happening in 2019 and not before, so donít bother picking Jimmy Hoffa.


    There has been a refining of the rules as to what qualifies as a legitimate obit:

    To win points, there must be the mention of a celebrity's death on a national online news source:

  • BBC:
  • all subsections of (including the previously barred local news areas)
  • Or from the UK versions of the following:

  • (this exludes references on the death announcements sections of broadsheet websites)

    ...or from these news sites:

  • The notice of death must be in written English. Video links are only accepted if the strapline mentions the celebs passing.

    The following news sources are excluded as from 1st January 2016: Huffington Post UK, MSN UK, Yahoo UK, Scotsman, Herald Scotland, Daily Record, STV and UTV. The Independent has now been removed as of 01/01/2017 as it no longer has a regular print edition. The Evening Standard is not considered as it covers the London area only.

    The date of death is taken as that in the country/region where the person died, i.e. local time is used. The age of the celeb at the moment of passing must also be established to calculate points. If the time of death is reported as exactly midnight local time, the date of the day just beginning is used. This may be relevant in deciding bonuses (see below).


  • "Celebrity" means someone who, upon their death, gets a written obituary in a British national newspaper or on the BBC News website.
    This does mean that you can't always be sure when picking your team whether each person will be famous enough or not, but that's all part of the game.
  • "Obituary" simply means an article which mentions the fact that the person has died. It doesn't have to be the conventional biographical write-up.
  • "Alive" means drawing breath, not decomposing, that kind of thing.
  • "No longer with us" is the opposite of the above!
  • "Death" means the transition from the former to the latter. The death of a career (e.g. Michael Barrymore) doesn't count.


    The value of the basic death depends on the person's age:

     18-29 years: 12 points
     30-49 years: 10 points
     50-59 years: 9 points
     60-69 years: 8 points
     70-79 years: 7 points
     80-89 years: 6 points
     90-99 years: 5 points
     100-109 years: 4 points
     110+ years: 3 points

    On top of this, bonus points are awarded as follows:

     Unique pick: +3 if you were the only competitor to pick that person.
     Drop 40 pick: +3 for a celeb that dies who is among the forty most popular nominations.
     Unnatural causes: +3 for murder, suicide or accident (but not State executions).
     Party pooper: +5 for a celeb who dies on their birthday or Xmas Day.
     Joker: Take the total of all the above and double it.


    Entry to DDP is completely free, for legal reasons. That means there's no prize money either, just fulsome praise.


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