No event straddles the line between social and sport like the Super Bowl.
Between spectacular halftime shows and raucous gatherings centered around the game, the on-field product can almost become secondary. And even for those with a passionate rooting interest, having a financial stake on the Big Game’s outcome – or on many potential scenarios within it – makes Super Sunday all the more fun.
The time-honored game of bingo has also long pulled double duty as a communal occasion. It typically brings young and old and family and strangers together. As with the Super Bowl, the chance to walk away with a little cash while gambling is a large part of the appeal.
Bingo makes its DFS debut
Accordingly, FanDuel is marrying the two for the first time ever in the DFS landscape on Super Sunday 2018. The company’s Big Game Bingo game kicks off along with Super Bowl LII at 6:30pm ET on Sunday, Feb. 4. The contest is sponsored by video-game retail giant GameStop.
Big Game Bingo is free to play. All FanDuel accounts already have a preloaded Big Game Bingo card with an array of 24 Super Bowl-related props and one free square in the center. Whenever one of the props hits, its square lights up in green.
Anyone getting all five squares in one line is a winner. The aforementioned free square is unavailable for use to complete a row until the start of the fourth quarter.
As per FanDuel’s official rules, the five consecutive props needed to win can be in the form of a row, column, or diagonally arranged. Once the set of props is complete, a “Call Bingo” button at the bottom of the card changes color and allows for submission of the card.
Plenty to keep an eye out for
Timing, as they say, is everything.
The grand prize winner – which scores $1,000, an Xbox One S 500 GB Madden NFL 18 Bundle, and a $50 GameStop gift card – is the first person to submit their winning card. Up to 4,725 other winners receive consolation prizes consisting of cash payouts and/or GameStop gift cards. Additional winners receive a free ticket of undetermined denomination to an upcoming FanDuel contest.
The squares of a typical Big Game Bingo card capture the essence of what the Super Bowl has become in pop culture – a seamless hybrid of spectacle, big names, quirky commercials, and, oh by the way, an athletic competition to crown the NFL’s best team.
Naturally, there’s plenty of football-centric sports betting props. A typical card includes a set of events with varying degrees of plausibility in a typical NFL game. Examples include a roughing the passer penalty, a successful field goal in the second half, and a fake field goal or punt.
However, you may also have to keep an eye out for a Gisele Bundchen on-camera appearance, an ad featuring Peyton Manning, or a highly speculated possible *NSYNC reunion during halftime festivities to complete your winning set of props and cash in.
DFS’ latest attempt at getting more social?
A few years ago, the DFS industry found itself on the defensive from both an image and legal standpoint. One of the more common criticisms it dealt with at the time was that its games lacked a social component.
Detractors pointed out that financial gain was the overriding purpose to DFS contests, as opposed to the friendly camaraderie and competition found in season-long leagues consisting of co-workers, family members, or long-time friends.
Major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have attempted to tweak this perception over the years. The latter introduced Friends mode back in August 2017, essentially a hybrid of season-long and daily fantasy that allowed players to participate in family-and-friends leagues throughout the NFL season but redraft each week.
Big Game Bingo takes an even more pronounced leap outside of the DFS contest paradigm while incorporating a social element. Unlike FanDuel’s other offerings across multiple sports, there are no players to draft, salary caps to be concerned with or any degree of participant control over the outcomes.
Rather, Big Game Bingo is positioned as an enhancement of what is already a de facto national holiday that’s often celebrated in large groups of family and friends. Whether any other bingo-formatted contests – including potential paid-entry ones – will eventually surface remains to be seen.