Tatjana Tesla and Ellias Korkontzilas are still playing the team game – even after their big win.
The pair of long-time friends recently won $159,104 after nailing a football bet on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s POOLS sports betting product.
Pools is OLG’s sports-related lotto game. Here, players pick a sport, card number, and winning matchup(s) for a chance to win. According to OLG’s website, Tesla’s (Kitchener) and Korkontzilas’ (East York) windfall is the second-biggest Pools prize ever recorded.
Regardless, both Ontarians said they plan on helping their families, donating to a hospital and helping a charity close to their hearts.
It’s a great breakthrough, Tesla said. And tastes even sweeter, given the circumstances.
“The game was a real nail biter. It came down to the final minutes.”
Korkontzilas had a slightly different experience inheriting his riches.
“I woke up the next morning to check the ticket and it felt surreal.”
Prizes balloon during NFL season
However, football is king – especially during the NFL and college seasons.
The pair knew this.
“We like to play Pools during the NFL season.”
As a result, prize amounts can quickly balloon.
Pools’ ‘box play’ offers big money
If you haven’t tried Pools, here’s how it works:
Players receive a single Pools card. However, they must predict winners across multiple matchups. In this instance, the person – or group that racks up the most correct picks on a single card wins the prize pool.
In this case, the winning Pools card was #76, list #2243.
Single Play is the standard Pools bet. Cards cost $5, and bettors choose a winner for each game.
However, Box Play is where the prize pool can grow exponentially.
That is when a player can choose both teams to win in a single matchup – guaranteeing a correct prediction. Yet, bettors are only allowed to do this four times per card. Each box play doubles the costs of your card up to $80.
Pools party on the horizon for winning pair
In other words, the more box plays, the bigger the prize pool.
That is likely what happened for Tesla and Korkontzilas.
Whatever way it went down, the pair are grateful it has afforded some new opportunities
“We also plan to celebrate with a trip somewhere warm so we can soak up the sun.”
“It’s a blessing.”
Second-largest OLG Pools prize ever
OLG’s most popular lottery games include Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max.
Typically, these titles are what most Canadians associate with the provincial lottery.
However, Pools – which OLG promotes as the “simplest way to get into sports betting”- has also proven profitable for sports fans of late.
Consider that there have been multiple fix-figure winners across the province in the past few years. Adam – a Brantford resident (last name omitted) – is the most notable example. In 2021, he amassed over half a million dollars by winning his Pools bet on three occasions during the NFL season.
Tesla and Korkontzilas’ windfall isn’t too shabby, either.
According to OLG’s website, their $159,104 total places them second all-time for a single Pools card.
Here are the rest:
- Adam (Brantford): $264,765.00
- Tesla and Korkontzilas (Kitchener & East York): $159,104.00
- Adam (Brantford): $157,659.00
- Gaetano (Maidstone): $143,496.80
- Blake (Strathroy): $143,496.80
- Gregorio (King City): $122,846.30
- William (St. Mary’s): $90,445.00
- Adam (Brantford): $88,585.00
- Christopher (Etobicoke): $79,511.60
Retail sportsbooks open in Ontario
Of course, Pools remains an emerging platform.
To that end, sportsbooks are the most traditional way of sports betting.
Nonetheless, Pools may still have a place for some bettors.
Essentially, through Pools, odds and spreads are swept away. You simply pick the winners.
Stepping out of the sports betting world, OLG is also wrapping up 2022 with its $100 Ultimate Instant Ticket.
OLG will announce 40 $1 million prize winners on New Year’s Eve. According to the lottery, The Ultimate gives bettors their best odds to win a million-dollar prize.
Punters have until Dec.31 or while quantities last to buy their tickets.