Berlin: What do you give the global
superstar who has everything? This was the dilemma facing
staff at aquarium home of Paul the octopus whose knack for
predicting World Cup games has catapulted him to fame.
In the end, as a reward for correctly "tipping" all eight
games he predicted -- seven Germany games and the final itself
-- Paul's German handlers dropped a shiny golden replica of
the coveted Jules Rimet trophy into his tank.
The eight-legged oracle, who now has more than four times
as many fans on social networking site Facebook as German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, seemed particularly pleased with his
prize, wrapping several tentacles around it.
In the wake of his phenomenal success, speculation has
been rife about what Paul will do next.
One tongue-in-cheek bookmaker gave punters the chance to
place a bet on Paul's future career.
They offered odds of 8-1 that he would become a bookmaker
himself, 20-1 that he would release a record, 100-1 that he
would unveil his own brand of calamari, 250-1 that he would
become Merkel's new advisor and 1,000-1 that he would become
part of a paella.
A firm of financial analysts in London wrote in an
otherwise serious research note that Paul had been headhunted
to join a major Wall Street firm in its foreign exchange
department to predict future currency moves.
But aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig poured cold water
on the rumours.
"Paul really enjoyed the attention, but now he is going
to go back to his old job, entertaining visitors and putting a
smile on the faces of the children," she said.
Paul may need a rest after his stressful World Cup. After
backing Spain against his resident Germany, he began to
receive death threats with many wanting to put the salty
soccer soothsayer on the barbecue.
When -- of course -- his prediction was proved correct,
some sections of the 350,000-strong crowd in Berlin turned
nasty, singing anti-octopus songs.
The honour of both Paul and his mother was called into
First Published: Monday, July 12, 2010, 22:26