Know Michigan's future? Play this contest.

By Craig Ruff/Public Sector Consultants

The Michigan Prophecy Contest has been around for about 15 years. Its aim is to inspire people to think about political, economic, sporting and cultural things that may happen in our state in the coming year. The late William Safire inspired me to start the contest. He would pose to readers “yes” or “no” questions about national events that might take place.

The first winner was Tom George of Kalamazoo. A maven of Michigan history, Tom won the contest prior to his being elected to the state House of Representatives and thereafter to the state Senate. Luke Capizzo, then public relations manager of the Michigan Credit Union League, and Lansing PR wizard Dave Waymire have won recently.

Answers to far-fetched questions often separate winners and losers. Will there be a sighting of a wolverine (the animal) in Michigan? Yep, but it was dead. Will a dog owned by a Michiganian win best in show at Westminster. Yep, just last year.

I try to frame questions as conceivable achievements — healthy stock gains of Michigan companies and natives winning Pulitzer or Nobel prizes (yes to the former; not yet to the latter).

The only prize that goes to the winner is the honor of being Michigan’s Prophet of the Year.

TO OFFICIALLY ENTER, GO TO You must provide contact information before you may proceed. Please provide an email address and phone number that you believe will still work in a year’s time.

All statements are about things that may or may not happen between Jan. 9 and Dec. 31, 2012. All questions are in a "yes-or-no" format. All statements relate to Michigan. Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Jan. 8.

Contest questions are reproduced below strictly for informational purposes.

Michigan Prophecy Contest for 2012


1. President Obama wins all of Michigan’s Electoral College votes.
2. Mitt Romney wins the Michigan GOP presidential primary.  
3. Republicans retain a majority (56 or more seats) in the state House of Representatives in the general election.  
4. Incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra wins in November.
5. Incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman wins in November.
6. In November, a person nominated by the Democratic Party wins the open state Supreme Court seat now held by Justice Marilyn Kelly, who is ineligible to seek re-election.  
7. Both Democrats win seats on the state Board of Education.
8. Both Republicans win seats on the MSU Board of Trustees.  
9. Both Democrats win seats on the Wayne State Board of Governors.  
10. Both Republicans win seats on the U-M Board of Regents.
11. One or more proposed state constitutional amendments appear on the November ballot.  
12. In November, a Democratic candidate wins Oakland County Executive.  
13. Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano chooses not to seek re-election or loses the Democratic primary or general election.  
14. Congressman Hansen Clarke wins the Democratic primary in his congressional district.  
15. Congressman John Conyers wins the Democratic primary in his congressional district.  
16. A Republican member of the U.S. House from Michigan loses either a primary or general election.  
17. The state Legislature repeals, reduces or phases out Michigan’s personal property tax.
18. One or more local units of government file for bankruptcy.


1. Michigan’s unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) in October 2012 will be 9.0 percent or lower.  
2. GM, Ford or Chrysler announces adding a new car line or eliminating an existing line. 
3. The interest rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage (Detroit) on Dec. 1, 2012, will be at or lower than 4.0 percent.
4. Through Nov. 30, 2012, Michigan shows a net, annual gain in jobs.
5. At year’s end (Dec. 31), a share of stock in Ford (F) sells for $12 or more.
6. At year’s end, a share of stock in MASCO (MAS) sells for $10 or more.
7. At year’s end, a share of stock in Dow Chemical (DOW) sells for $30 or more.
8. At year’s end, a share of stock in Spartan Motors (SPAR) sells for $5 or more.
9. At year’s end, a share of stock in Universal Forest Products (UFPI) sells for $30 or more.  
10. At year’s end, a share of stock in Compuware (CPWR) sells for $10 or more.
11. At year’s end, a share of Neogen (NEOG) sells for $40 or more.
12. At year’s end, a share of stock in Kellogg (K) sells for $50or more.
13. At year’s end, a share of stock in Whirlpool (WHR) sells for $50or more.


1. The Detroit Red Wings play in the Stanley Cup finals.  
2. The Detroit Tigers tie for or win their division.
3. The Detroit Lions, in the 2012–13 season, win seven or more games by year’s end.  
4. The Detroit Pistons play in the NBA finals.  
5. MSU or U-M wins the Big Ten football championship game.
6. A Michigan school wins the MAC football championship.
7. A Michigan men’s or women’s basketball team makes it to the Final Four of its NCAA tournament.  
8. A Michigan college or university plays in the 2012 NCAA hockey championship (final two).  
9. The Detroit Pistons announce they will move out of the Palace.


1. A Michigan resident or organization wins or shares a Pulitzer Prize.   
2. A Michigan resident wins or shares a Nobel Prize.  
3. A Michigan native wins or shares a Tony for a lead or featured performance.  
4. A hardcover book (fiction or nonfiction) written by a Michigan resident appears for at least one week as the New York Times’ top best-seller.  
5. The old Detroit train station reopens.
6. Two or more local K-12 school districts consolidate.
7. A Michigan resident competes in the final 12 for "American Idol."  
8. Frank Gehry is commissioned to design a building in Michigan.  
9. Two or more presidents of Michigan’s 15 public universities announce their retirement or resignation, or are dismissed.  


1. A Michigan resident wins the national spelling bee.  
2. The Pontiac Silverdome is razed.
3. One or more Michigan-Canadian border crossings closes for seven or more days.
4. At the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a Michigan dog owner wins “Best in Show.”  
5. The Labor Day Mackinac Bridge walk/run is cancelled or postponed.  
6. Both/either the Detroit Free Press and/or Detroit News end all print editions.
7. The state Legislature passes a ban on smoking in a car with a window open.
8. Former Gov. John Engler is a guest on former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s TV program.
9. Miss USA hails from Michigan.  
10. A Michigan community ties or exceeds the record high temperature (112 degrees in 1936).  
11. An Asian carp collides with a Jet-skier on a Great Lake.


Ground is broken on a new, public bridge between Michigan and Ontario.

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Ben Burns
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 9:04am
Question No. 2 under etcetera it should be razed not raised. Ben
Derek Melot
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 9:41am
Thanks, Ben, I made the fix.