Predictalot, our crowdsourcing experiment, is going global. This time, you can predict almost anything your heart desires about the World Cup in South Africa, like whether Germany will advance further than Brazil or a team will win that has never won before. You can compose any of millions of predictions and sell them any time for virtual points, even in the middle of a match, just like the stock market.

We ran the first version of Predictalot in the U.S. for the NCAA Men's basketball tournament known as March Madness. Nearly 50,000 people placed 100,000 predictions. To our delight, we found that people went well beyond picking ordinary things, like who will win, to construct a huge array of highly customized predictions -- selecting 10,000 different kinds of predictions, including almost 4,000 "3-D" predictions that compared one team against two others, like "Butler will advance further than Kentucky and Purdue."

The latest version of Predictalot, now available for the global audience of World Cup fans, has several new features:

  • You can create a group and challenge your friends to play, or join an existing group of like-minded players.
  • You can track how your predictive acumen stacks up in each group you belong to and overall across the globe.
  • You can watch streaming updates of what other people are predicting in your social circle and around the world.
  • You can view live match updates right within the app for your convenience.
  • You can choose from millions of predictions, but don't worry, the on-screen wizard guides you to easily find and customize the exact prediction you want.
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Average Rating: 4.3
Comments
  1. I'm sure you noticed, but the sum of seeds doesn't have good ranges. For the second round, there is a 0% chance that the sum will be less than 100 and 95% chance that it will be less than 150. You need more choices in the 120-140 range.

    Comment by Jay (March 18, 2010, 3:45 pm)
  2. A very interesting concept, but it looks like it needs some more work. If a team has won/lost and an outcome is now definite, the odds should go to 100% immediately. When games are over for more than 30 minutes, and the odds are still 25% for a team that one, somethings wrong, as you cannot sell at that price when you should be getting 4x that.

    Comment by Josh (March 18, 2010, 6:52 pm)
  3. Great idea - a couple of problems with implementation - First - The site allows wagers to be placed after completion of the game. The stated return rate is not updated and you can thus game the system with zero risk Second - As the game progresses, the returns do not appear to be updated. So, if a team is being blown out, you can still get the original return. Third - the return rates appear to be a random flux around a given point. I've seen ranges of + 4% to -4% in the course of a few seconds (recalculating percentage over and over until you get a desirable one. It doesn't appear to trend with 2-3 second refreshes. Finally - the site allows wagers which are obviously errors - I tried to repurchase a Big XII will have more wins than Big East, accidentally hit Big XII will have more losses than Big XII - the site accepted the prediction though it was impossible to happen. I'm enjoying the beta, thanks for the work - Joe

    Comment by Joe Spencer (March 18, 2010, 9:21 pm)
  4. Seems to be a problem with live timing. I did a check on the first round game for Tennessee, and I was shocked to find the odds of them winning at 28%. Naturally I jumped at it with 500 points. When it got back to the predictions screen, the number was 98% and I it showed only 501 for the sell price. Totally hosed me.

    Comment by Scott (March 18, 2010, 10:00 pm)
  5. I love the idea of this game but here is what I am having a hard time with: 1) I have to refresh the page in order for the prices/winnings to change. It would be nice if it refreshed automatically, even if it meant that the odds were not updated as frequently. 2) It would be nice to have a confirmation before you sell a prediction. I have gone to sell predictions because I say it listed at a certain price, only to sell it and for a much lower price. 3) Close the predictions on games earlier- I have been able to make predictions on games that have already finished- not just a few seconds after the game but for quite a while after the game. It might also be fun to have some predictions based on mascots and team colors. Thanks for this fun game!!!

    Comment by Jared Wilson (March 18, 2010, 11:56 pm)
  6. I like it a lot but there seem to be a few bugs: when you buy or sell, it doesn't buy or sell at the odds you see before you do it. That can be very confusing. The odds also seem to fluctuate like mad: not just constantly but hugely. Maybe the coding needs to calm down the effect of individuals buys a bit.

    Comment by John (March 19, 2010, 12:22 am)
  7. Love the game, wish there were some prizes though. Also, I would like to be able to see my pick history. If that option is available I overlooked it, but overall its a great game.

    Comment by mark (March 19, 2010, 6:59 am)
  8. Thanks: it's great to hear so many people like the concept and are having fun. Sorry for your frustrations and thanks for helping us improve the app. Jay: thanks, great suggestion. Josh, Joe, Scott, Jared: The live updating when games end should be faster now. Scott: it sounds like you bought right after the game updated. More on price changes below. Jason: good ideas for pushing refreshed prices and predictions based on colors and mascots: I like these. Mark: we'd like to add sold predictions in the future, thanks, good suggestion. Almost everyone: About prices changes. Because of the enormous number of outcomes, we have to approximate prices which results in random fluctuations. Ideally these should be small, but at certain times in the game they have been way too large. We're working to address this and keep prices changes small. Right now, the fact that the actual odds you get are slightly different than the quote is a "feature" not a "bug". The reason is, without it, the system can be gamed to buy low / sell high over and over an unlimited number of times. But if getting different odds is too frustrating we will revisit what to do in future versions. Thanks everyone! Please keep the feedback coming.

    Comment by Dave (March 20, 2010, 1:11 pm)
  9. This is a great little game. I think it would be better if you can lock in your prediction before "buying". There were several times where I clicked calculate odds and then buy but I didn't get that %, it was higher so I had to wait until an even higher odds value was available to sell. The same thing goes for the selling, it would be nice to lock it in, basically tell me what I'm selling it for and confirm. Similar to placing minimums on stocks.

    Comment by D (March 25, 2010, 3:41 pm)
  10. Great job Yahoo.!!

    Comment by Fikri (May 20, 2010, 10:25 am)

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