Paul the octopus and Colin the caterpillar each played a role in past World Cup tournaments.
Now, there’s a new top animal in town, called Mystic Marcus, a pig who, according to his owner, has a 100 per cent success rate in predicting sports results.
Farmer and micro pig breeder, Juliette Stevens, from Heage, Derbyshire, said: “Marcus is the seventh child of a seventh child and apparently they’re gifted with special powers; so, maybe that’s where it comes from.
“A few years ago, I was invited on a radio show because of Paul the octopus predicting results and they wanted to see if I had any animals that had the ability.
“I hadn’t tried the seventh child theory out, so thought I’d give it a go. They used apples and oranges and Marcus predicted the football results, it was amazing.”
Juliette, 50, said after that first result, they changed the method to make it more scientific. Now, Mystic Marcus, who has about 30 children and grandchildren, will pick from apples of a similar size and colour to make it as fair as possible.
The apples will include markers – such as pictures or flags – and Marcus will eat the winner.
Mum-of-three Juliette said: “He started predicting quite a few things, the most hilarious was when he predicted Brexit.
“At that stage, nobody thought Brexit would happen; so, I was convinced he’d got it wrong.
“He also predicted Trump would win. I said ‘Marcus you’ve definitely got that wrong’ and then look what happened.
“He had apples with a picture of Trump next to one and Hillary Clinton next to the other and he ate the Trump apple.
“For one football match, he didn’t eat any of the apples and it turned out to be a draw. It’s really bizarre.
“Marcus correctly predicted the winner of the 2014 World Cup,” its owner claims.
“He’s correctly predicted tennis results, football results and he predicts a lot of Derby County games.
“He correctly predicted that they wouldn’t go up to the premiership and that provoked a lot of anger among fans who said they wanted to turn him into a bacon sandwich.
“He has a 100 per cent track record, I think he’s got to get it wrong one day but he never does. Let’s hope he can do it again this time round.”
Juliette has around 100 animals on her farm, including 19 alpacas, 26 Gloucester Old Spot and micro pigs, eight cows, two donkeys, eight goats and 50 chickens – with Marcus holding a special place in her heart after she bred him.
According to betting company William Hill, the odds on Belgium making it to the semi-finals are 7/4, Argentina 13/8, Nigeria 33/1 and Uruguay 4/1.
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