Recent news of Paul, the British octopus who has predicted the outcome of every German game in the World Cup soccer tournament, may fuel this type of speculation. According to the NY Daily News, “Paul the psychic octopus has proven himself to be a reliable source” in picking World Cup winners.
Then there’s Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who pokes his head out of his burrow every Ground Hog Day, supposedly using his animal intuition to predict whether or not we’ll have an early spring by staying out or immediately retreating.
Here at PCH there’s a parrot named Izzy.
Izzy, the beloved African Grey pet parrot of Maryann Carter, the manager of the PCH Contest Department, is an unofficial departmental mascot. He doesn’t visit our headquarters where sweepstakes winners are selected, but his photos are proudly displayed in Maryann’s office on her shelf and wall overlooking her computer desk. With only a little bit of prodding Maryann lights up and recounts all kinds of amusing stories about the bird’s antics.
African Grey Parrots are known for their intelligence and ability to mimic speech. Izzy can say “Hello,” “Be a good boy,” “Me kiss (followed by an authentic smooching sound),” “Water,” “Don’t!” and “Wha-a-a-t?” (which he undoubtedly learned by hearing Maryann repeatedly ask him what he wants when he’s begging for a treat). And, according to Maryann, he uses these words in context to really communicate.
With Izzy’s high IQ, an intimate relationship with the manager of the department that has awarded over $223 Million in sweepstakes prizes, and a bird’s-eye photographic view of the very screen where the PCH mainframe computer sends encrypted winning number information, if anyone could predict the PCH sweepstakes winners, it would be this feathered marvel.
So, despite his impressive vocabulary, when it comes to sweepstakes winners, this privy parrot’s not talking, IZ-HE?
EVP, Publishers Clearing House