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Meet the man who ‘predicted’ the World Series — but whiffed on the apocalypse

Chicago Cubs Fans Gather To Watch Game 7 Of The World Series Against The Cleveland Indians Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Lenn “Gio” Fraraccio normally spends his days selling printers to schools, but today, the Florida-based sports fan is already on his 10th interview — a first for the 47-year-old father of two and husband for 20 years. You see, in 2014 Fraraccio correctly predicted the Cubs and Indians would be tied in extra innings in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. (He incorrectly predicted this would begin the apocalypse, but we’ll get to that later.)

Until last night, the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1908. Which is to say the prediction, made via tweet, goes against the reality we’ve known for more than a century. The Cubs losing the World Series has become such a joke that even sci-fi has adopted it as a kind of recurring theme.

In 2016, as the final game crept closer, Fraraccio’s tweet began to reappear in sports circles. He says that after two Los Angeles sports reporter retweeted the prediction to their massive audiences, it really picked up buzz.

So, how did he arrive at his prescient conclusion?

The date of his prediction is important — and it has to do with both Fraraccio’s love of the Tampa Bay Rays, and its former manager Joe Maddon. On November 4th, 2014, news hit that Maddon would act as manager to the Cubs. To Fraraccio, news that Maddon would be working alongside “legend” Theo Epstein, convinced him that the team would “be very good very quickly.” The second part of the equation — the Indians — was a guess based on his opinion that the team had a good pitching staff with a lot of young talent.

As for the apocalypse bit? Well, that was just funny.

Of course, online predictions are a fickle thing. Blogger Andy Baio wrote a stellar piece on how they can be fabricated in 2014, in the wake of a World Cup game prediction that turned out to be a fake. Baio explains that, by setting up multiple accounts, you can essentially make as many predictions as you like. When one of your soothsaying accounts is right, you either set the correct one to public, or delete the wrong results.

"I love how many people are calling me out on Twitter and saying it's fake,” Fraraccio says. “Two things: one is, I forgot about the tweet. Somebody said it to me. Secondly, it's time stamped. You contact Twitter if you don't believe it. But everybody wants to say, and people are saying that I'm famous — I'm not famous. I'm like, gonna be famous for like 15 more minutes and then no one will ever care about me again.”

He makes these kind of predictions all the time, he says. This one just happened to come true.

Fraraccio finds the entire episode hilarious and stupid. It’s “getting my 15 minutes of fame out of the way,” he says, but he’s more focused on watching his son run track this afternoon and his daughter getting into college.

“[Those are the things] important in life,” he says. “The Twitter thing is just dumb.

“It's not even surreal. It's not even cool. It's just funny. I wrote this thing and it came true and everybody's going crazy."

The accidental soothsayer may have made a prediction for the Cubs, but he was rooting for the Indians. Still, he says, Chicago “has suffered so long.”

“I'm glad they won,” he says, “and also being a Cleveland fan, my Cavaliers just won a championship in June, so I understand what the pain is of going years and years without winning. The Cubs got their title now. All is right in the world.”

Fraraccio’s next prediction isn’t sports-related, but rather has to do with the impending election.

"I've predicted the last eight presidential elections correctly,” he says. “I voted for the correct person the last eight presidential elections. Hillary is going to dominate Trump next Tuesday, so there's my prediction for the election.”

Then, after a pause:

“If I'm wrong, maybe that's where the apocalypse comes in and maybe the world does end.”