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DraftKings sets up $1 million NFL pick ’em

DraftKings is getting into the swing of regulated U.S. sports betting by launching a nationwide NFL pick ’em that features a $1 million grand prize. It’s a move designed to normalize sports betting in the US market by competing with more established pick ’ems like the Super Contest at the Westgate in Las Vegas.

Here’s how the contest is slated to work. For starters, this is not a contest for amateurs or punk kids. This is big league ball with a big league entry fee of $1500. So right away, most American punters are already out of the action (but they’re probably playing a local pick ’em anyways). Each week the players are asked to make five NFL picks against the spread. The player with the highest percentage of wins at the end of the season walks away with the $1 million.

Players are allowed to take a bye on any two weeks and can win an extra $100 if they go five-for-five on their picks. The bye weeks are meant to be used strategically and could be every bit as important as the weeks where players actually make the picks.

The contest results become official after 12 weeks and will be nullified, and entry fees returned, if the season is cancelled before week 12.

The idea of a high entry fee/high payout national NFL pick ’em is hardly, as the folks at DraftKings certainly know. The more established Super Contest at the Westgate regularly pulls in 3,000 or more players who compete in a nearly identical contest.

Players must have their entries in by September 9 or whatever the first day of the regular season winds up being in case it is delayed.