How to Determine a Football Pool Payout

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Once football season begins, the office pool becomes an activity that many people enjoy. Participants purchase squares in the pool according to what they think the final outcome of the game will be. Come Monday morning, the winners receive a prize and the pool resets for the following week’s matchup. If you are in charge of the office pool, knowing how to set it up and determine the winner helps to ensure that the pool is fair and fun for everyone who participates.

Setup

Create or download an 11-by-11 square grid and print it on a sheet paper.

Allow participants to buy squares for $1 each. Players should initial or sign the squares that they purchase.

Place 10 small pieces of paper in a bag. Each paper has a number between one and 10.

Draw a number and write that number on the left most column in the second row.

Repeat step 4 for the rest of the numbers and go down a row each time. Fill the left-most column with randomly drawn numbers between one and 10. Leave the top left square blank.

Place the numbers back in the bag.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 using the first row and starting in the second column from the left until all but the left-most square in the top row are filled in.

Determine winners

Record the game’s score at the end of each quarter.

Look at the last digit of both scores at the end of each quarter. If the score is 17 to 14 then you use the numbers seven and four.

Find that spot on the grid. For 17 and 14, find the seventh row and move across to the fourth column.

See if someone has purchased that square. If so, they are a winner.

Do this for the score at the end of each quarter. There will be a maximum of four winners.

Determining Payouts

Count how many winners are in the pool.

Divide the amount of money collected for the pool by the number of winners. This is how much you pay to the winner from each quarter.

Tips

If you do not sell all of the squares and there are fewer than four winners, split the prize between the winners. If three people are winners, split the winnings three ways rather than four. You can choose to run a pool where there is only one winner at the end of the game. Only use the final score and award the winner the entire pool.

Warnings

If you do not sell all of the squares, it is possible that you may not have any winners. In this case simply start the pool over again next week and add the unclaimed money to the following week’s pool.

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