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Charon's Toll Rules & Regulations

The Basics

  1. Read ALL of the rules before turning in your picks. Any selections that violate the rules will garner you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  2. Entry deadline: December 25, 2003. I'll publish everyone's selections by January 1, 2004.

  3. Lists will be published to:

  4. The "season" will begin on January 1st, 2004 at 12:00 AM EST, and end on December 31st, 2004, at 11:59 PM EST.

  5. You may submit as many lists as you like.

  6. The player with the most points at the end of the season wins. First tie breaker: the entrant with the most dead celebrities wins. Second tie breaker: the entrant with the youngest dead celebrity wins. Note that the primary criterion for victory is your score, not the number of deaths. Plan your strategy accordingly.

  7. Jeff Gilhooly Rule: You may not in any way, either directly or indirectly, influence or cause the demise of any personality named in, or associated with, this pool. This will result in your immediate disqualification. Also, you may be opening yourself up to certain legal repercussions, the severity of which is dependent on the jurisdiction, and the diligence of the relevant constabulary in bringing you to justice. Itís just not worth it, especially since weíre not playing for money!

  8. If someone is found guilty of violating rule #7, the decedent(s) in question will be removed from everyoneís lists and no points will be awarded for that death. This will ensure that there is no collusion amongst the players.

  9. Ben Johnson Rule: Any entrant who uses performance-enhancing drugs while selecting their team will be immediately disqualified.

  10. In all matters, the decision of the commissioner (yours truly) is final. There is no appeal. I am always fair, just, and impartial.

  11. Prizes: There are no cash prizes just as thereís no entry fee.

  12. Rules can and probably will, be changed throughout the pool as new issues are raised and dealt with.

The Names

  1. Select 20 (twenty) well known personalities who you believe will die in 2004. You must use their full names to register. Widely known nicknames will be accepted if I know who you mean (assume idiocy on my part), and please try your best to spell the names correctly.

  2. Personalities chosen for your list must be clinically alive at the time of your form's submission.

  3. Jeffery Dahmer Rule: Celebrities who are on death row may be selected, but you will only score if they die before the government executes them. For example, if a celebrity kills himself in prison, and also gets an obituary in the AP, you will get points for him. However, if he is executed, you will get no points for him. Itís the chance you take. Please note that not all death row convicts are celebrities. If one of your personalities commits a capital crime, is brought to trial, is convicted, sentenced, and executed before the closing deadline, you will be awarded the points. (This wonít happen in countries where the wheels of justice are slowed by appellate courts, etc. However, as long as George W Bush is in office, it is entirely possible.)

  4. Hunter Kelly Rule: Celebrities must have achieved fame on their own merit, not simply because of familial relations. Likewise, people who are famous solely on the basis of having a fatal illness are not celebrities for the sake of this pool.

  5. Osama Bin Laden Rule: Members of terrorist organizations, suicide bombers, and leaders of third-world nations that we are currently bombing may not be included.

  6. No animals or fictional characters, such as cartoon characters and soap opera characters, can be entered into the pool. Only real humans, please.

  7. Elvis is dead! Get used to it. Donít put him on your list!



The Scoring

  1. When a celebrity dies, every team that had selected that celebrity will receive 100 points minus the age of the celebrity. (e.g. : In 1998, Frank Sinatra died when he was 82 years of age. All teams who had Sinatra on their list received 18 points.) If you select a celebrity who is over 100 years old, you will lose points if that celebrity dies. However, you can still score points bonus points.

  2. Deaths are verified through national publications like Time, USA Today, The New York Times, Weekly World News, Schuylkill Haven Call, etc (An AP news feed can be found at So be sure your personalities are prominent enough to warrant such a death notice (e.g. "Strom Thurmond" is better than your "Aunt Bessie"). When you see a death confirmation for one of your personalities, please call or E-mail me with the name and publication for reference. This is not a requirement, itíll just help me keep the stats timely.
    Bonus: categories allow a player to score 25 bonus points by correctly selecting the method of death for each personality. You must be specific (e.g. "gunshot wound" is okay, "foul play" is unacceptably general). Also, lingering deaths that are a direct result of your selected method of death will count, at the discretion of the commissioner (e.g. Gary Busey wrecks his "hog" and cracks his helmetless skull against a curb, yet hangs on in a coma for 2 weeks before succumbing to pneumonia. This would score bonus points if you had named Gary Busey and specified "motorcycle wreck"), provided he didnít linger on past the closing deadline.

  3. Wildcard - same point structure as the first 20 picks (100-age):

  1. To promote interest throughout the year, you may choose an 21st personality as a "wildcard". This wildcard must adhere to all of the other rules of the pool except that you may change this personality monthly. Before 22:00 p.m. EST on the last day of each month you may change the name of your wildcard personality, or you can "let it ride" throughout the year. If this personality does indeed die while named as your wildcard, you will receive the proper number of points (100-age) as well as the 25-point "method of death" bonus, if applicable. You may then select a new personality as a wildcard. This is a great way to rack up the points. So keep your eye on the infirm and your wildcard pick up-to-date.

  2. Note: players will be awarded points for no more than 1 (one) wildcard death per calendar month. If your wildcard dies on June 2nd, and you select a new wildcard personality on June 3rd, that new wildcard cannot score any points until the first of July.

  1. There are no fractional points given for amputations, nor are points awarded for "missing" or "presumed dead". There must be confirmed death. Court orders will be upheld. Also, any "suspended animation" or "cryogenically frozen" personalities will count as dead at the time of their "demise". Reanimation/resurrection at a date after the closing date of this pool will not alter its results or your score. Of course, if they bring Walt Disney back, you can put him on your list as a wildcard.

  2. Bonus Days: In addition to the above scoring and bonuses, contestants can earn 50 bonus points if one of the celebrities on their list dies on one of twelve Bonus Days. There is one Bonus Day per month. There is also special bonus day on April 15th (tax day). If a politician dies on this day, any contestant with the politician on their list is awarded 100 points. The Bonus Days are:


Reason for Mourning or Celebrating

January 5th

Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to Yankees in 1920.

February 3rd

Buddy Holly dies in plane crash in 1959.

March 15th

Julius Caesar assassinated - Ides of March. 

April 15th

Hard-Earned Wages Confiscation Day (100 points awarded for current and former politicians)

April 30th

Adolph Hitler commits suicide in 1945.

May 5th

Napoleon Bonaparte dies in 1821.

June 25th

General Custer killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.

July 22nd

Uday and Qusay Hussein killed in 2003.

August 4th

Marilyn Monroe commits suicide in 1962.

September 3rd

Ho Chi Minh dies in 1969.

October 31st


November 22nd

John F Kennedy assassinated in 1963.

December 8th

John Lennon killed by David Chapman in 1980.