Big news for NFL fans and gamblers across Pennsylvania. SugarHouse Sportsbook, in partnership with BetRivers Sportsbook, has announced the first online-only Las Vegas-style football handicapping contest in the Keystone State. Contestants cannot sign up for the contest inside the respective retail sportsbooks.
The $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em contest will take place throughout the 17 weeks of the 2019 NFL regular season. The entry fee for the inaugural contest is $150 ($125 before August 15). The total prize pool is half a million dollars.
Here’s how it works: Each entry will make five picks per week. The contestant with the most correct winners at the end of the season will take home $125,000. Weekly pick winners will receive a $2,500 prize. And a fun twist with this contest is that the “Biggest Loser” will receive $2,500 for having the most incorrect picks for the season.
Signing up for the $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em
Signup for the $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em contest is only available online at PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers. The fee is $150 per entry and each participant can have up to 25 entries at each online sportsbook. The cost of 50 total entries would be $7,500.
The contest is limited to players who are located inside Pennsylvania every week of the NFL season. Players must be in Pennsylvania to enter and submit picks each week. Proxies cannot submit picks for anyone outside of the state.
Playing the $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em
This is a pick’em contest. There are no point spreads involved. Contestants simply need to pick the winning team of the game. Players will pick the winners of Sunday and Monday pro football games — Thursday night games will not be included.
The contestant that picks the most winners at the end of the season will receive a guaranteed grand prize of $125,000 prize. All of the money collected goes directly into the prize pool. If Sugarhouse collects more than $500,000 in contest entry fees the money will be added to the prize pool. There is no administration fee and 100% of the contest fees will be paid to winners.
There is a weekly prize of $2,5000 for the top score on each site. That’s a total of 34 weekly prizes (17 weeks x 2 sites). At the end of the NFL season, the $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em contest will pay the top 500 contestants and worst contestant.
Prizes will range from $40,000 for second place to $175 for 401-500th place for the season-long contest. SugarHouse will pay $2,500 to the player with the fewest correct picks. This person will be the “Biggest Loser.”
Winners will have prizes deposited directly into their online account after the 17th week of the NFL regular season.
Not the SuperContest
The $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em contest is billed as a “Vegas Style” contest. That might be true but it’s not the same as the most well-known football contest in Las Vegas. The Westgate SuperContest is a football handicapping contest with a $1,500 entry fee where contestants make a handful of picks against the point spread.
This straight forward pick the winner contest is similar to football picks contests that Las Vegas locals enjoy at locals casinos. The most similar Las Vegas contest is probably the William Hill Pro Pick’em contest available throughout Nevada. The entry fee for this contest is $25 and there are no point spreads in this contest
A similar but different football contest
The $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’em is a contest that will be a legitimate option to many football bettors in Pennsylvania. The $150 entry fee for the season isn’t too high to keep most football bettors away. This may not appeal to the $2 SugarHouse Jackpot Parlay players but it’s not high enough to scare confident bettors away.
There will be 501 winners at the end of the season and there’s no administration fee. While the Westgate SuperContest might be the most popular contest there are detractors. The 8% administration fee and payout schedule of only rewarding the 100 contestants in 2018 have both come under fire.
This is a new take on the popular football contests for a new sports betting market. “We wanted to make this season even more thrilling for football fans by creating a pick’em game where huge cash prizes will be won,” said Richard Schwartz, President of Rush Street Interactive. “We think that players will be happy to see that 100% of all entry fees are going directly into the prize pool, as there is no house cut here. This innovative contest gives our players a fun way to get in on all the exhilarating sports betting action.”
Stay tuned to TheLines for more details on this first-of-its-kind betting contest in Pennsylvania.