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World Cup: Paul the octopus is hanging up his touting tentacles

July 12, 2010 |  7:33 am

Paul_400 Paul the octopus, who became a pop culture sensation by correctly predicting the outcome of eight World Cup matches, including Spain's 1-0 win against the Netherlands in the final game, is hanging up his touting tentacles.

The intuitive invertebrate will "step back from the official oracle business," Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, told AP Television News.

"He won't give any more oracle predictions — either in football, nor in politics, lifestyle or economy," she said. "Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh."

However, Paul took one last curtain call on Monday. Aquarium employees presented the octopus with a golden cup — similar to the official World Cup trophy. 

A businessman, meanwhile, has offered nearly $38,000 to rent Paul as a mascot for an upcoming food festival in the small village of Carballino, near Orense, in northwestern Spain.

The annual August event focuses on squid specialties. Paul, should he attend, would be on the special events program and not on the menu.

-- Kevin Baxter in Johannesburg, South Africa

Photo: Paul the octopus with his replica of the World Cup trophy. Credit: Roland Wiehrauch / EPA.