The DFS Millionaires Club
The quick rise of daily fantasy sports has led operators to offer increasingly large payouts for contest winners. Those prizes have now hit the seven-figure market and show no signs of decreasing. In our Millionaires Club timeline below, you can take a look at every single player to win at least $1 million in a single DFS payout.
FanDuel Raises the Bar
With the explosive growth of the daily fantasy sports industry, it didn’t take long for single-prize payouts to climb up well into the six figure range. In December 2013, FanDuel upped the ante again by offering a cool $1 million to the winner of its Fantasy Football Championship. As it happens, the event was won by Travis “Tspiedo” Spieth, a South Dakota sales manager who had only been playing DFS for a week.
DraftStreet Gets in the Game
The industry’s next million-dollar contest came only a few days later, when a very skilled, yet reclusive, player snagged his seven figures at the 2013 DraftStreet Daily Fantasy Football Championship. Known as RICKMILITAR online, Larry Seigle chose to opt out of a free trip to Las Vegas and watched the tournament at home.
DraftKings Crowns 12 Millionaires
Market leader DraftKings soon caught up with the pack and offered their own million-dollar prize during its 2013 Fantasy Baseball Championship. Former stockbroker Peter “CSURAM88” Jennings took the top spot, while furthering his status as the “Tiger Woods of DFS.”
Well FanDuel was the first to offer a seven-figure prize, DraftKings would soon overshadow the feat with its Millionaire Maker series. It’s become clear that winning poker players can utilize their skills at the table in daily fantasy contests. It’s no surprise that the inaugural Millionaire Maker tournament was taken down by well-known poker pro Matt “SamENole” Smith.
Two other former card sharks, Ray “rayofhope” Coburn and Corey Albertson, walked away with seven figures in the Series’ Week 7 contest. The pair relies on complex, homemade algorithms which digest a huge amount of stats before spitting out what they hope will be a winning lineup.
But not all Millionaire Maker champs are statistics gurus. The Week 11 prize went to brothers Dave “DavetheChamp” and Rob Gomez who went with their gut when choosing their winning lineup.
FanDuel Ups the Ante Again
Not to be outdone, FanDuel upped the stakes once again with a $2 million first-place prize during its 2014 Fantasy Football Championship. Scott “Escot4” Hanson locked up the massive prize after a Demaryius Thomas touchdown gave him the 2.3 point she needed to win it all.
At the pace that the DFS industry has grown, prize pools will no doubt continue to grow, and FanDuel’s $2 million prize will surely be dwarfed by even fatter jackpots.