John Dunbar, a retired salesman from Loveland, Colorado, whose 21 correct predictions out-smarted an international crowd of movie-lovers, won First Prize in the 2015 Can You Beat the Crowd? Oscar prediction challenge.
"Words seem so futile, so feeble," Dunbar said in his acceptance speech, quoting Charlie Chaplin from 1971. "You are all such lovely, beautiful people, I thank you."
Dunbar, a self-proclaimed "Oscar nut" who first listened to the Oscars on the radio in 1952, when "The Greatest Show on Earth" won Best Picture, was selected in a random drawing over Drood and brobr6, who also "beat The Crowd" with 21 correct predictions.
"I'm thrilled and humbled to be in such great company as John Dunbar and brobr6," said Drood, a.k.a. Drew Winser of Concord, MA, in his gracious runner-up speech. "We are all winners."
"I try to go to the movies once a week," said Brobr6, a.k.a. Barry Brown, of Somers, NY, who thanked his family, The Crowd and the weather. "With this winter in the northeast, you can't stay outside."
John Dunbar's First Prize entitles him to unlimited free movie watching in the year ahead through Netflix. Drood and brobr6 will receive copies of "The Wisdom of Crowds," the book that inspired the contest back in 2004.
The Crowd itself predicted 20 of this year's Oscar winners, down from a record 23 last year. This year's performance once again matched or surpassed other prediction markets, odds-makers and pundits monitored by David Leonhardt of The New York Times, and left social media predictions in the dust.
Every player in this year's challenge will receive a free newsletter from Poor Stuart's Almanac, which follows award winners and best sellers throughout the year in movies, theater, books and television.
See you in 2016!
Our international conspiracy of movie lovers to predict the Academy Awards.