With all this talk of doom and gloom when it comes to the state of the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, we thought it might be nice to take a look back at a few of the lives DFS has changed for the better. After all, this is a hobby that challenges your mind, provides hours of entertainment and offers players the chance to win big cash prizes. And when we say big, we mean MASSIVE.
The following DFS fans found themselves with hefty cheques and instant legend status—some from entry fees as small as $13.50! Who knows, maybe these stories will inspire you to revamp your teams and kick-start DFS’s triumphant revival! Either way, it’s a great reminder of the positives that drew us to DFS in the first place.
Hopefully some of their winning attitudes can rub off on the rest of us!
Dave and Rob Gomes
This pair of brothers from Boston were crowned local heroes when they became the first players from DraftKings‘ home state to win the DFS giant’s Millionaire Maker contest. That’s right, with a modest $27 entry fee (practically pocket change when split between 2!) Dave and Rob carefully crafted an NFL team that netted them a cool $1 million. Not content with showering them in bank notes, DraftKings also made TV stars of the brothers—selecting them to be the faces of their advertising campaign that aired nationwide. Something tells us these two are pretty popular on the Boston bar scene…
Thought $1 million was a good win? Gym trainer from California, Scott Hanson, doubled that. Yep, he ended up scooping a whopping $2 million in Las Vegas thanks to FanDuel. Hanson had always been good at fantasy football, and when his wife saw an advert on TV for DFS, she persuaded him to give it a go. Boy, did that suggestion pay off! A few months later he found himself at the FanDuel Fantasy Football Championships in Vegas, where his team racked up enough points to take first place.
Experienced DFS players among you will know that this kind of achievement is rarely completely down to luck. Hanson used his background in analytics and experience working part time for a football stats website to devise his winning strategy. Money didn’t change the man, though—the dedicated trainer still returned to his gym clients the Monday after his big win!
DraftKings‘ Millionaire Maker struck again in 2014, this time for Drew Dinkmeyer, a finance worker from Florida. In 2013 he realised he was making the same amount of money (sometimes more) playing DFS as he was in his day job. Drew decided it was time to leave the financial sector and start living the dream—DFS-ing full time to support himself. And support himself he did! Quite nicely, we might add. He soon raked in $1 million with DraftKings’ popular competition, largely thanks to his inspired pick of Marquess Wilson. The Chicago Bears receiver happened to score his first career touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints, in the game that sealed Dinkmeyer’s win. Check out the magical moment DFS made Dinkmeyer a millionaire above!
DFS Hall of Famers
Before the aforementioned office workers and gym trainers were plucked from obscurity and thrust into the DFS limelight with their incredible wins, a few major figures were already pros in the fantasy sports arena. These big-timers often have a background in poker, which makes sense because DFS allows them to utilise their strategic thinking and provides the same thrill of anticipation.
Saahil Sud: “Maxdalury”
Maxdalury was a permanent fixture at the top of the Rotogrinders Rankings for many years. It’s the username of Saahil Sud, a software consultant from New Jersey who quickly turned pro. At the peak of his DFS career he is estimated to have made $3-5 million a year. He has been very quiet of late, prompting up and coming players to steal his crown and dominate the top of the leaderboards.
Charles Chon: “CONDIA”
Condia was something of a man of mystery for many years on the DFS scene. Known only by his considerable wins and seemingly unbeatable line-ups, many consider him to be the game’s biggest star. In 2015 he was revealed to be Charles Chon, when she showed up in person to DraftKings’ Fantasy Football World Championships. As you might imagine, he wiped the floor with his competitors.
Alex Baker: “Awesemo”
Former poker player Baker is currently top of the Rotogrinder Rankings and has been for most of this year. He cut his teeth being schooled by CONDIA during his early forays into DFS back in 2015. Now he’s overtaken the master and is a legend in his own right. See, it can be done!
UK Success Stories?
What you’ll notice about this list is that these guys are all from the good ol’ USA. Daily Fantasy Sports hasn’t fully found its feet in the UK yet. This means top dog status is still up for grabs. So pick your sport, hone your line-up and start crunching those numbers. You never know, you could be the success story for our side of the pond!
For the best tips and tricks of the trade, keep checking in with DailyFantasyUK!