If you haven’t heard by now, Las Vegas’ most deeply branded football contest, The Great Giveaway, at Station Casinos, is no more. Don’t panic—it’s been replaced by a new contest called Gridiron Glory that, played properly, figures to be a better deal for most players. Note the “played properly” part. This contest has a few twists that must be considered to get the most out of it.
The big change is that it’s now absolutely free to play. Previously there was a $25 entry fee that you could get back by playing all 17 weeks. The 17-week requirement no longer exists; however, if you want to maximize your return, playing all, or close to all, 17 weeks is still the way to go. Here’s why.
The weekly cash prize for the player with the most wins is $10,000, and if there’s a tie, another $5,000 is distributed to the players who lose the tiebreaker. But even if all 17 weeks pay out $15,000, that’s only $255,000. Then there’s $100,000 more for the postseason contests, for a total of $355,000, far below the contest’s advertised $750,000 payout. The other $395,000 is being paid out in “instant prizes,” and the more you play, the more instant prizes you’ll win.
At sign-up, you choose a “team helmet” that moves down a virtual football field (on the kiosk) after every winning pick. When you reach the end zone you get an instant prize of free-play, club points, comps or gifts. So any player who plays enough to score a touchdown comes out ahead. How much is enough? It depends on how many yards a win is worth. That’s not disclosed anywhere in the rules, but based on the information available now, I think two yards per win is likely. Your first drive starts on the opposing 40-yard line, so you’ll score your first touchdown after 20 wins, which is about two to four weeks of play. Once you score the first touchdown, you start again, but from your own 20-yard line.
Keep playing and you’ll score more TDs for additional instant prizes. But there’s another reason to continue, which is to qualify for the postseason contests with the additional $100K in prizes. That requires playing all 17 weeks or scoring four touchdowns. In the postseason, the field will be significantly reduced, which makes getting to this point is even more valuable.
One important piece of strategy is to play the Thursday games. No other contest of this type includes Thursday games, so many players will forget them, giving a big edge—in both the weekly contest and in qualifying for the postseason—to those who do. Also, you can make selections for four weeks at a time, which will reduce the effort required to keep playing, and continuing to play is the key here.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and LasVegasAdvisor.com.