A fantasy football player from Brooklyn Park paid $25 to enter a FanDuel contest over the weekend – and walked away with the $1 million top prize.
The FanDuel account of Gene Schaum read $1,000,007.05 on Tuesday morning, after he beat more than 229,000 players to take first place in the "Winning Lineup $1M Prize" contest on the daily fantasy football website.
Speaking to KFAN after his win, Schaum explained he had a nervy wait watching Monday night's game between the Giants and the Eagles, as some of his closest rivals had players from both teams while he had none.
He ended up winning by just a single point, with a late Giants tackle on Eagles running back DeMarco Murray proving decisive.
The 49-year-old, who works at a Super America gas station in Blaine, told the radio station he had previously won around $550 on FanDuel competitions in the few years he's been playing, having spent between $250-$300 on contests, but never came close to winning the big one.
As for his plans for his (post-tax) winnings, he said: "I was going to buy a truck even before this, I found one but I backed out as it was $41,000, so I'm probably going to buy a truck and then put the rest away."
The husband and father told the Star Tribune he's going to enlist the help of his investment banker nephew to figure out how he will withdraw his winnings and what he'll do with it then.
He told KFAN he did make it into work on Tuesday – but admitted he was an hour late.
Schaum's winning team
The Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins have been good for very little this NFL season, but Schaum picking Matthew Stafford as his starting quarterback and the Dolphins as his defense proved to be telling as they both had great games in Week 6.
The odds of winning daily fantasy contests are increased if you have a player that's not widely-owned by other fantasy competitors, who then goes on to have a big game.
Stafford ended up throwing for more than 400 yards with four touchdowns as the Lions beat the Chicago Bears in overtime, giving Schaum 34.9 points; meanwhile while the Dolphins defense held the Tennessee Titans to just 10 points, scored a touchdown, had six sacks and two interceptions for 24 points.
Here's Schaum's full team:
How daily fantasy football works
Daily fantasy players use their own money to pay entry fees into contests on daily fantasy football websites. These fees are then pooled among entrants to provide prizes for the winner and those who place, FanDuel's website shows.
Players are given a budget with which to buy a team for the upcoming weekend's NFL fixtures, gaining points for the touchdowns, yards caught/passed/rushed, the number of receptions etc. they get in the game (kickers get points for field goals, extra points).
The two most popular daily fantasy sites are DraftKings and FanDuel, but they are currently under some intense scrutiny.
There has been growing discussion over whether daily fantasy websites should be classed as gambling sites, with lawmakers at the federal level calling for an investigation into the industry, the Star Tribune reports.
Forbes reports a DraftKings employee was investigated over claims he used "insider knowledge" about the most popular lineup selections, in order to increase his chances of winning a contest on FanDuel (he finished second, winning $350,000).
However, the investigation concluded this week, finding he did not find out the lineup information until 40 minutes after he locked his FanDuel team.