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'Psychic Pig' Enjoying 67 Percent Accuracy in Euro Predictions

  • RFE/RL

Funtik the pig correctly predicting Denmark's June 9 win over the Netherlands.

Funtik the pig correctly predicting Denmark's June 9 win over the Netherlands.

The prognosticating pig picked by Ukraine to forecast the outcome of matches in the Euro 2012 soccer championship has so far correctly predicted four of the six group-stage contests.

Funtik the hog, who also goes by his Ukrainian name, Khryak, currently resides in a pen in the tournament fan zone in central Kyiv.

He makes his predictions by choosing between different bowls of food placed beside the flags of competing countries.

So far he has accurately predicted wins by Russia, Denmark, Germany, and Croatia.

Kyiv fan-zone director Oleh Katkov was unstinting in his praise of the snouted soothsayer.

"Look at how great our hog is!" Katkov said ahead of the June 10 Spain-Italy and Croatia-Ireland matches.

"Yesterday, he correctly predicted the Danish team and the German team victories, and we saw with our own eyes how it turned out," he added. "That means we can believe our Funtik. Today he predicted a victory for the Spanish team, which is not extraordinary, and for the Croatian team."

Funtik, whose food choices do not include a draw option, failed to accurately predict the outcome of two matches, Spain-Italy and Poland-Greece, which both ended with 1-1 ties.

The creamy white hog has enjoyed a steady stream of visitors at his fan-zone pen, including many children who stop to scratch his ears and snout.

One Ukrainian fan, Vitaliy, brought his son to visit the pig but said he was skeptical about Funtik's powers despite his 67 percent success rate.

"It's all a coincidence. I'm a mathematician by nature, a materialist. So it's hard for me to believe," he said.

Funtik joins two other animal prognosticators, Fred the ferret in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, and Citta, an elephant in Poland, in carrying on a soccer-tournament tradition made famous by Paul the Octopus.

Paul, who made his choices by selecting between specially designated mussels, correctly predicted the outcome of all seven of Germany's matches and Spain's victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup.

He died later that year.
With reporting by Reuters and AP

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