Britney Spears

Fame Pictures

Do you think Britney Spears will live long enough to grow old?
—Babongile, Johannesburg, South Africa

Whelp, let's dial up the ol' DeathClock.com and see what the sadistic online battle-ax has to say on Ms. Spears, shall we? You just plug in some stats, including whether Britney smokes (she has been seen puffing on ciggy treats) and her body mass index. Hell, let's throw her a bone and say it's under 25.

Ah, there we go.

The most pessimistic scenario has Britney shedding her Southern-fried mortal coil on March 22, 2030—at 48 years old.

But realistically, professional death watchers tell me, she could live decades longer. Over at GhoulPool.us, 35 people have entered a betting pool over which celebrities will die this year. Only eight have cast their fate with Britney. Nine have listed Amy Winehouse, six with Pete Doherty and five for Lindsay Lohan.

Oldsters like Fidel Castro are much more popular.

Yes, every year a young icon dies before his or her time, but it's most often a stealth player like Heath Ledger, or a less famous talent, like Brad Renfro.

As an adolescent, Drew Barrymore was pretty much known as a mess; she started drinking at age 9, followed by affairs with marijuana and cocaine. She went to rehab at 13 and had two divorces under her belt by age 28. And yet she survived it all and is currently on the A-list.

So, even if Britney—a rehab alum herself—snorts Freon for breakfast and plays with speedballs for fun, predictions wouldn't necessarily change much, GhoulPool's Jeff Britton tells me.

"Sure," says Britton, who does not have Britney on his '08 list. "If drug use gets bad, there is always the chance of an OD, but how many stars in Hollywood right now have drug issues? How many actually die?"

Exactly. So for the record, Britney stands a fine change of living into her Madonna years, bad driving record and all.

Twenty bucks on Nicholson.

Got a question about how Hollywood works? ASK ME already!

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