DraftKings held its first ever Sports Betting National Championship in New Jersey this weekend, and it ended in an ugly controversy. The contest featured bettors vying for a piece of a $2.5 million prize pool, with a $10k buy in, but unbelievably, some bettors weren’t able to play wagers in time for the final game of the weekend, the Eagles vs the Saints.
Because the Patriots blowout of the Chargers took so long, there were fewer than two minutes of real time between its ending and the kickoff of Eagles vs Saints. Due to computer lag time, some bettors couldn’t roll their winnings from the Patriots game to the final game.
One of those players who got screwed was former ESPN writer Rufus Peabody:
Following the Pats 41-28 win over the Chargers, Peabody moved into first place with a bankroll of $81,891.82. The only problem is Peabody’s Patriots bet didn’t grade as a win in time for him to wager on the Eagles-Saints game. Because his bet was not graded, he couldn’t wager on the Eagles-Saints, while his competitors could. It ended up costing him the grand prize of $1 million. He settled for $250,000 and third place.
Apparently, Peabody wasn’t the only contestant this happened to. DraftKings issued the following statement about the contest and the mishap:
It looks like all the bettors did not have an equal opportunity to bet on the final game, which obviously affected the rankings. It will be interesting to see what happens next. I’m sure the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement will be involved, as will a slew of lawyers for those affected by the debacle. DK could just award Peabody a larger sum, but then that would open them up to potential cases with other bettors that experienced the same payment problem.
Ultimately, Rleejr86 took home $1 million for winning the contest with a final bankroll of $101,474. His winning wager was $47,500 to win $90,725 on the Philadelphia Eagles +8.5.