This year, for a long time I was contemplating passing up doing a squares grid as it can be a big headache and a huge risk to my pocket but with just one week to go until the last game of yet another incredible season and the fact I have more fun running this game than I do losing on my real sports bets with bookies I have decided to take the challenge on.
How I ran this game last year worked for me and made it easier (less time consuming) so have decided to do it a similar way again this year.
So, I’m still running it online (digitally) and as in past years the Super Bowl Squares grid can be viewed online here:
So, this is how it works - I have a grid with 100 squares on - each one 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, making a video etc., to try and explain how the game actually works along with the hours spent trying to push sales 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. This is also one of only two games I take anything from annually out of the multiple amount of games I put hours of my time into running all year round on all number of sports (at least 20+ games minimum each and every year), so there’s that to.
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 I just made) of me doing my best to explain how the game works:
This year - just like last year - I will not number the grid until either I have sold all the squares or more realistically a few hours before the Super Bowl itself starts - so the Sunday night about 8pm UK time / that is 3pm US ET - 11th February (Super Bowl Sunday). I will do this online taking a screen recording as I go so everyone can see everything is above board, open and transparent. The video will be hosted on YouTube and a link posted to it on the TFP forum website.
Here is a link to the Picker Wheel I will be using to number the columns and rows once the grid is fully filled or at 8pm on Sunday which ever is the sooner:
Just so you know it’s pure random luck - there is no skill in this game whatsoever.
(The following is also explained in the video - link above).
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 401 - 500. That is to match the raffle tickets I am using this year. The reason for the high numbers is I am working through the tickets in raffle books I bought in the past - 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, anyone can buy Squares remotely (without seeing me in person) as when people pay, I draw them raffle tickets from the bag and enter their details on the online grid for that square the raffle ticket matches.
Then on the evening of the Super Bowl or when the grid is sold out - whichever is the sooner of the two - I will randomly number the columns and rows of the grid. I will do this using the above random number picker making a screen recording as I do it which will be uploaded to YouTube afterwards and a link posted to it on this thread.
By using the raffle ticket system it means I can still sell any remaining squares in the last few hours leading up to the Super Bowl if I have not sold the grid out prior to the numbering of the grid, as it will still be random luck - as people still cannot pick their own squares but will be allocated them based on the raffle tickets drawn. The raffle tickets decide their square(s). The raffle tickets are what still make it random as to what game numbers you end up with.
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 - on a physical sheet - of who each entrant’s real name is so I can pay out the correct winners after the Super Bowl itself).
I hope having this digital grid online 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 and see who’s square it’s currently on with every change of 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 basically 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 100 squares, of which I will have randomly numbered the columns and rows by using the online picker wheel (explained above) before the Super Bowl.
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 meets 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 $25 or $50 a square. NICE!
Payment & prize payouts - anyone I don’t see in my day to day life - so 99% of all entrants 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 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 willing 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. When you contact me to enter if you’re a TFP member I would greatly appreciate you telling me your username on this forum as I will use that on the online grid when possible (as others will more likely know you by your username I feel over your real name). However, on the physical grid I keep myself I will use people’s real names so I know who is who and more importantly who to pay out.
That’s it - now it’s over to you - you just have to ask yourself ‘DO YOU FEEL LUCKY’ ?
bluelionman / Noel Symonds
Fan Pub Founding Member
PS I truly appreciate any help you can give me spreading the word about this game (as selling all these squares in less than a week is pretty daunting). I have reduced the entry costs for this year due to starting to sell the squares so late - my bad. So please use the link to this post (bottom right) and share it with your friends and on social media. Thank you very much. If I sell out this year in good time I will start earlier next year and perhaps go back up to £10 @ Square.