Sonny Wool is a sheep from the North Island of New Zealand. Born in Dannevirke circa 2008, he is named after All Black Sonny Bill Williams. He became famous after his feeding behaviour was used to correctly predict the winner of each of the New Zealand national rugby union team's matches at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. His role at the 2011 Rugby World Cup has been compared to that of Paul the Octopus at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Sonny Wool’s owner is Beverley Dowling. His agent is Dan Boyd, who also designed the sheep’s prediction process. The prediction process was designed so that Sonny Wool was presented with two boxes containing feed in the form of hay, each box marked on the outside with the flag of a national rugby union team in a forthcoming match. His choice of which hay to eat first was interpreted as indicating his prediction of a win for the country whose flag was on that box. Selections by the sheep have been correct in all of New Zealand’s matches in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, though predictions for the other three quarter-finals turned out to be incorrect.
Sonny Wool has his own website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. He was reported to be under 24-hour security watch after receiving death threats.
According to Dan Boyd, as a lamb, Sonny Wool predicted when it was going to rain. His manager describes him as “a bit socially inept” who prefers the company of humans and has “got a few fetishes for things – one is light at night and he really likes rugby balls”.
|New Zealand vs Tonga||Pool stage||9 September||New Zealand||41–10||Correct|
|New Zealand vs Japan||Pool stage||16 September||New Zealand||83–7||Correct|
|New Zealand vs France||Pool stage||24 September||New Zealand||37–17||Correct|
|New Zealand vs Canada||Pool stage||2 October||New Zealand||79-15||Correct|
|Ireland vs Wales||Quarter-finals||8 October||Ireland||10-22||Incorrect|
|England vs France||Quarter-finals||8 October||England||12-19||Incorrect|
|South Africa vs Australia||Quarter-finals||9 October||South Africa||9-11||Incorrect|
|New Zealand vs Argentina||Quarter-finals||9 October||New Zealand||33-10||Correct|
|New Zealand vs Australia||Semifinals||16 October||New Zealand||20-6||Correct|
|New Zealand vs France||Final||23 October||New Zealand||8-7||Correct|