In the interest of celebrating gambling in the workplace, let’s take a closer look at that time-honored tradition, the Oscar pool. I’ve been invited to compete against my EW colleagues in the annual office pool, and while I have a pesky little wagering streak I try to manage (medicate?) with harmless Scrabulous binges and not-so-harmless snacking in front of the TV, you bet I’m placing my bets. However, today I’m wondering, why don’t we get a PopWatch “pool” underway, to enhance the standard ritual of merely picking trophy winners when we watch on Sunday night?

Now this “pool” is entirely hypothetical; is not accepting any wagers or giving away any prizes or money. Still, even knowing I can’t mail the winner a fabulous prize, how would you lay odds on the following questions:

1. Which star will make the most wardrobe-malfunction-courting fashion choice?
2. Whose hair will be messier: Tim Burton’s or Helena Bonham Carter’s (pictured)?
3. How many celebrities will bring their mother as their date?
4. Who will get the biggest applause during the “In Memoriam” montage?
5. How many acceptance speeches will include some kind of political statement? (Strike mentions count.)
6. How many winners will make a false start leaving the podium before they realize which way to exit the stage?

By all means, throw down your best guesses in the comments section (yes, number 4 is probably too easy to make for interesting odds), and let’s share ideas for what else we can bet on! Thank you, PopWatchers, for thinking outside the Academy ballot box with me!

addCredit(“Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter: Jon Furniss/”)