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Stats geek says Rourke, Winslet and 'Slumdog' are sure things

Nate Silver, the math whiz who became a media darling by using his statistical skills to correctly predict the outcome of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election months in advance, has focused his numerical know-how on Hollywood this week. Having compiled and studied a database of Academy Award results dating back three decades, Silver predicts several sure things on Oscar night: Mickey Rourke will win Best Actor (71.1 per cent), Kate Winslet is a lock for Best Actress (67.6 per cent) and Slumdog Millionaire is a no-brainer in the Best Picture category (99.9 per cent). The biggest surprise is Silver’s prediction that Benjamin Button’s Taraji P. Henson (51 per cent) will beat Penelope Cruz (24.6 per cent) in the Best Supporting Actress category. About the only thing Silver can’t predict is what the stars will be wearing on Sunday night.

New York