He goes by the moniker Granny’s Boy, a respectful nod to the woman who raised him.
“My mother growing up,” he said Tuesday morning, while discussing the life-changing event he’s in the middle of right now. Granny’s Boy – he wished to keep his name private for the moment – just won the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook’s 2017 SuperContest, in the first year that it had a first-place prize of more than $1 million.
In fact, Granny’s Boy is in tune with a lot of things past and present. And he’s convinced his attention to those details helped him beat out a record field of 2,748 contestants who ponied up $1,500 apiece in the Superbook’s renowned annual NFL picks-against-the-spread contest.
“I pay attention to the universe,” said the resident of Portland, Ore. “I grew up on 13th and Fremont in Portland, and I took the lead going into Week 13. I looked at that first-place number, $1.327 million, and I thought, ‘That number really looks familiar.’ That number was waving to me. My address was 1326 Northeast Fremont – just one number off the first-place prize.
“Once I put all that together, I knew I was gonna hold the lead. There was no doubt in my mind that I was gonna win it. The numbers, they talk to you.”
They actually began talking to Granny’s Boy – he used that name on his SuperContest entry, too – after Week 4 of the SuperContest.
“I went 1-for-5, and I thought I was done. I was down 4 points, but the leader didn’t stretch it out,” he said. “I came back in Week 5 and only missed one. I kind of cut into the lead, cut it a game.”
Then he just kept a steady ship over the next few weeks.
“I’d see a new leader and a new leader, and I just kept hanging around,” he said. “But once Week 12 came around, that’s when I took the lead by a half-point. And I knew I was gonna win it.”
Heading into the Week 17 slate of games, Granny’s Boy led second-place HowDoIPlay XX by 2.5 points and third-place Schematic Advantage by 3.5. So he just needed a 3-2 to wrap up the title, but as anybody in the sports betting world knows, 60 percent is no easy chore any week, particularly on the volatile final Sunday of the NFL regular season.
So who did he roll with?
“The Lions, it was their last game, gotta play good for their coach. I knew Buffalo needed to win. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999. And I knew Atlanta had to win at home,” he said. “Those were my strongs.”
And they came through strong. Detroit hammered Green Bay 35-11 as a 6.5-point home favorite, Buffalo dropped Miami 22-16 laying 2.5 points on the road, and Atlanta beat Carolina 22-10 as a 3.5-point home chalk.
If Granny’s Boy had gone with his first instincts, he would have went 5-0 and tied CH Ballers for the fewest losses in contest history, at 20.
“I originally had Tampa Bay, erased it and took the Saints. And I had Cincinnati, and switched it for Jacksonville,” he said.
Still, 3-2 upped his season record to 58-22-5, for a total of 60.5 points and that destiny-calling $1.327 million first-place prize – actually, a tad more, at $1,327,284. So not matching the record for fewest losses was easier to digest.
“Oh yes. It’s OK,” he said.
Schematic Advantage threw down a 5-0 final week and HowDoIPlay XX went 4-1 as both finished at 59 points to tie for second. So each of those contestants earned $398,184.
Sunday also capped the inaugural SuperContest Gold, which had a $5,000 entry fee and a winner-take-all format. The Stag Capital team went 4-1 in Week 17 to finish with 52 points and narrowly hold off Midwest Square, which also went 4-1 and finished at 51.5. So Stag Capital snared the $470,000 prize.
The 17-week run is quite a grind, and Granny’s Boy had a quick response when asked what was most enjoyable about the contest during the season.
“There wasn’t anything enjoyable about it. It was stressful!” he said, noting he had to tune out some of the noise as he went into Week 16 with a 1.5-point lead. “I stayed in my house that whole week and put together a 5-0.”
That provided just enough cushion to finish it off in Week 17. Once Atlanta and Buffalo finished the job in the late kickoffs, the stress level greatly diminished.
“My Twitter was going off, but for me, it was really nothing,” he said. “I was just relieved. I can relax. It’s finally over.”
Living in Portland, Granny’s Boy gave a hat tip to his proxy service and a Vegas contact, whom he said kept him updated with all the information he needed to pull this off from nearly 1,000 miles away. And he’s ready for more in 2018.
“For me, it’s no different than hitting a parlay – a $100 five-teamer or a $50 seven-teamer. It’s all about winning. I’ve been winning all my life. I know what it feels like to win,” he said. “Next year, I’m gonna win it, and every year I get in it.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.