It’s back - belatedly!
So, this year I really wasn’t going to do a squares grid as it can be a big headache and a huge risk to my pocket but as the big game draws nearer, I have had a change of heart - call it excitement for the last game of the season. So, this year as I did the last few years, I have gone digital and now my Super Bowl Squares grid can be viewed online (link can be found here):
So this is how it works - I have a grid with a 100 squares on - each costs £5@square and total prize fund is £400. I don’t hide anything so yes as you can see 20% of the money collected in goes to the house/me - assuming I sell out the grid in full which is by no means a given. However, I do guarantee the prizes and so take a substantial risk as if I cannot generate the sales then I can be seriously out of pocket as I will be funding the prize money from my own pocket. I stand by my games and hence guarantee the prizes - no quibbles. So, for this reason, as well as all the time spent making the game grid up on Google Sheets (quite a challenge as I am not computer literate), typing out this rules e-mail to try and explain how the game actually works along with the added risk of actually losing money I feel it’s only right to mitigate that with a 20% house edge from the squares game.
Now that’s out of the way let’s move on with the game mechanics - I know some of you might not like to read loads of type so here’s a link to a video of me randomly numbering a past years grid using playing cards and explaining how the game works:
This year I have already numbered the grid using the same method just not made a video of it.
Just so you know it’s pure random luck - there is no skill in this game whatsoever.
Now as I will not see most people in person have adapted the way I run my squares grids as follows to make it random - I have numbered every square on this grid from 301 - 400. That is to match the raffle tickets in books I bought from Tesco’s for past games. The reason for the high numbers is I am working through the tickets in the raffle books but it’s still just 100 squares (numbers) in total.
I have placed all the raffle tickets in a bag.
Now this is the clever bit and how you can know what your numbers are as soon as you have bought some squares (and if I was on the ball I could have started selling the squares before the Super Bowl teams were even known).
This is because normally in a ‘Squares’ game you would sell all the squares before numbering the grid randomly in front of a witness. However, by using the raffle ticket system means I can randomly number the grid up before selling any squares. The raffle tickets are what still make it random as to what game numbers you end up with. I number the grid randomly by using playing cards - I actually filmed myself doing this back in 2019 (link above) and you can watch that video on You Tube to see how I do it - by taking an Ace (representing 1) thru to 10 (representing zero) from a pack of playing cards - I shuffle them up and then start to turn the cards over and as I do so I number across the top of the grid (the columns) in the order the cards come out - which represent the AFC teams numbers. I then repeat this process (for the rows) which represents the NFC teams numbers (down the side).
Now I can start selling squares to both people I see in person and people I do not. No one gets to pick their own game numbers on the grid - they select a raffle ticket from the bag - or a proxy does this on their behalf (most likely me but sometimes a personal friend or acquaintance). The raffle ticket corresponds to the same numbered square on the grid and that becomes their square. I enter their name in that square in the online grid on Google Sheets. If I know their TFP forum name that will be used on the online grid (but will also keep a separate note myself - the physical sheet - of who each entrant’s real name is so I can pay out the correct winners after the Super Bowl itself).
Doing it this way means people can know their squares numbers as soon as they have drawn them - or a proxy has on their behalf. The reason this can be done even before the actual Super Bowl teams are known is because the AFC team always goes on the top of the grid - so is represented by the column numbers and the NFC team goes down the side so is always represented by the row numbers. The good thing is people can know everyone’s numbers - not just their own - as soon as I update the on-line grid to match my physical squares grid (which I will do each evening leading up to the Super Bowl).
This should make the game more fun for everyone who partakes as if you follow the game scores live during the Super Bowl you can check the grid online This way everyone can see who’s square it’s currently on with every score in the game - rather than just knowing your own numbers needed to win. Any unsold squares are house squares - only fair as I am basiclly buying every unsold square by guaranteeing the prizes. Using the raffle ticket system insures no one gets to pick their squares numbers - it’s all still random luck what numbers you get and again is down to the actual scores in the real game itself at the predesignated winning points (end of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarters plus the final games result) - so even more luck as to which squares actually win.
In case you don’t understand how the game works here’s a synopsis:-
The grid has a 100 squares, of which I’ve randomly numbered the columns and rows by using playing cards (explained above).
Across the top (when known) goes the AFC team (columns), down the side goes the NFC team (rows). The scores at the end of the first 3 quarters and the final result of the game (to cover the eventuality of O.T.) decides the winning squares. Every score in the game changes the square it’s on and whatever square it’s on at the four predetermined points of the game (end of the first 3 quarters and final game score) wins the prize for that point.
1st QTR - £100
2nd QTR - £100
3rd QTR - £100
FINAL - £100
Now this is how the winning squares are determined.
If the score at the end of the first Quarter is AFC team 10, NFC team 3 you would go to AFC column zero (0 - because you just take the last digit of a team’s score) and NFC row 3 and where the two meet on the grid is the winning box for that Qtr. and this is how it works for the whole game. In effect (and it has happened) the same square can win more than one prize.
I first encountered this game on the champ train from Chicago to Champaign, Illinois the season the Bears played at the University of Illinois stadium while Soldier Field was being renovated (2002). I got them to teach me how it worked as it was nothing like what we run on our sports here in the UK. There they do it in office pools and in bars or what have you on regular season games - or any game if there’s enough punters - however they do it for bigger bucks $10 or $20 a square. NICE
In the past here in the UK I have found it a real headache selling all the boxes (squares) so was not going to run a grid this year but after several enquiries from people who enjoyed the game last year have had a change of heart and hoping via the internet, I can sell at least a good percentage of the squares even this late on (7 days to go).
Payment & prize payouts - anyone I don’t see in my day to day life - so 99% of all TFP forum members I ask to contact me by PM and we can discuss ways to pay (usual SP for those of you that know the score). Pay out of prize winnings will be back the same way towards the end of Tuesday or sometime on Wednesday post Super Bowl once I’ve sobered up.
So if after reading all that you are wanting to have a go I urge you to buy squares sooner rather than later so I can sell the grid out in plenty of time to have the online version fully completed before the big night itself. To make contact with me if you don’t already have my direct contact details Just PM me from here (TFP).
That’s it - now it’s over to you peeps - you just have to ask yourself ‘DO YOU FEEL LUCKY’?
Noel - bluelionman