Your browser is out of date. Some of the content on this site will not work properly as a result.
Upgrade your browser for a faster, better, and safer web experience.

Booker Prize 2016: the winner predicted

Tomorrow will see the announcement of the winner of 2016’s Man Booker Prize. Here at DG we tend to focus on events which have already happened, but for this special occasion we decided to temporarily dump our protocol in order to reveal tomorrow’s prize novelist to you first.

In 2014, we created this infographic which analyses the attributes of 45 years of winners. Modally speaking, the average winner is a man in his fifties, born in England, nominated for his fourth novel, starring a man in present-day England and which begins in the third person, has less than 400 pages and features an illustration on the cover.

Using a homemade points system (each attribute match gains one point), we have just calculated which of the six shortlisted novelists are most likely to take home the coveted literary prize. We can now reveal that the winner will be Paul Beatty, for his novel The Sellout. With six points, David Szalay comes in second with All That Man Is. He could have augmented his chances by setting his story in England – or being born a decade earlier.

With two points each, Ottessa Moshfegh and Madeleine Thien are tomorrow’s underdogs. For her novel Eileen, Moshfegh only gets points for keeping her work under 400 pages and putting an illustration on the cover.

Here’s the full breakdown of points:

  1. Paul Beatty – The Sellout (7 points)
  2. David Szalay – All That Man Is (6 points)
  3. Graeme Macrae Burnet – His Bloody Project (4 points)
  4. Deborah Levy – Hot Milk (3 points)
  5. Ottessa Moshfegh – Eileen and Madeleine Thien – Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2 points each).

For those 50-something male English novelists hoping to win a Booker in 2017, you now know what you need to do…

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”
Creative Review

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”
Creative Review

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”
The Telegraph

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”
El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”
The Telegraph

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”
Qi podcast

The UK's second-best magazine” Ian Hislop
Editor, Private Eye
Private Eye Magazine

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme