|One man’s meat maybe one man’s poison or in this case one man’s bad news is one man’s good news. The man in case is Mike Konczewski who runs a website with the motto – ‘You can't cheat death, but you can profit from it.’|
Talking to Philadelphia Inquirer, Konczewski comments about the late Bob Hope, ‘Bob Hope was worth six points’. It would've been more, but a lot of us were expecting him to die for years.' While this might be revolting and sickening to bet about sad news like someone’s death but these are heady times for Havertown's Konczewski and others who get their kicks by gambling on the mortality of the rich and famous.
When you count up the memorial tributes of who’s who this year you would get people like – Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn, Buddy Hackett, Barry White, Maurice 'BeeGee' Gibb, Nina Simone amongst others. While fans and admirers would be heart broken, things couldn’t get any better for Konczewski’s website. The more celebs die, the more money he makes. Ghastly might be the word or as some call it ‘ghoul pool’.
Konczewski, a 42-year-old real-estate manager and family man, prefers Internet ghouling sites that require more research and prescience and subscribes to www.youbettheir life.com.
So how does the Grim reaper scheme work? In December, each player composes a list of 20 famous - and hopefully doomed - celebrities. Players receive points for each person on their list, or 'team,' who dies during the New year. The top point-getters split the pot at year's end. Some deaths are worthier than others. For example, the fewer players who pick a particular celebrity, the more points they'll score when the famous one kicks off. Dead celebrities under age 55 earn 'bonus points' for a player.
The entrance fee is $25 and since there are only about 40 players this year, the pot isn't huge. But Konczewski would like us to believe that he isn't in it for the cash, but for the competitive spirit. He’s still waiting for old clockers like Julia Child, Alistair Cooke, Richard Pryor and Augusto Pinochet to get with the program.