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December 12, 2014

Festivus On-Line Handicapping Contest

by Mike Henry

OLDSMAR, FL. - Tampa Bay Downs unveils a holiday tradition all its own with the introduction of the "10 Days of Festivus Challenge," an online handicapping contest offering a $1,000 cash Grand Prize to the overall winner and total prize money of $2,400.
In addition to a second overall prize of $300 and a third overall prize of $100, players will compete for daily prizes of $100.
Entry in the Festivus Challenge is free and all wagers are mythical. The contest runs over the 10 days of live Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs from Dec. 3-21. Online registration begins Saturday, Nov. 15 at
The 2014-15 Thoroughbred racing season at Tampa Bay Downs is set to continue Saturday, Nov. 29.
"Fans of the television show Seinfeld who recall the episode 'Festivus For the Rest of Us' will appreciate the inspiration behind the challenge," said contest administrator Nathan Hyland. "Seinfeld fan or not, though, the only requirements to enter are a desire to pit your handicapping skills against other racing fans and a craving for extra holiday cash.
"The '10 Days of Festivus Challenge' will also serve as a warm-up for the second annual 'Live It Up Challenge' handicapping contest, which begins Jan. 31 and was a tremendous success during the 2013-2014 Tampa Bay Downs meeting," Hyland added.
The rules for the "10 Days of Festivus Challenge" handicapping contest are simple. Participants have until 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3 (the first day of the contest) to register. Players will begin each day with a $100 mythical bankroll, which they will be required to wager in its entirety on their selections to win, place and/or show.
All wagers must be in even-dollar amounts, from a minimum of $2 to a maximum of $100. A player can use all $100 on a single horse or spread out the $100 over two or more races.
Only one horse per race can be selected. Failure to participate on each of the 10 days, or to wager the full $100 each day, results in elimination from the contest.
Each player's daily earnings will be determined by the official pari-mutuel payoffs on their winning selections. For example, if a player wagers $2 across the board on a given horse and that horse wins and pays $8.80 to win, $6.60 to place and $4.80 to show, the player's bankroll will be credited in the amount of $20.20 ($8.80 + $6.60 + 4.80). If that horse were to finish third and pay $4.80 to show, the player's bankroll would be credited in the amount of $4.80.
Players' race selections must be made before "0" minutes to post time for a given race. If your selection is scratched before "0" minutes to post, you may make another selection for that race.
If your horse is scratched and you do not make another selection for that race, your account is credited for the mythical amount wagered, but players must be aware they need to make a bet on another race to utilize their entire $100 bankroll for the day.
If a player chooses a horse in the last race of the day that is a late scratch after the cutoff time has expired, the player is automatically given the post-time favorite for that race.
The full rules of the "10 Days of Festivus Challenge" are stipulated on the handicapping contest website.
"We tried to simplify the rules while at the same time keeping the playing field level for everyone," Hyland said. "The main idea behind the contest is to have fun and give fans of horse racing and Tampa Bay Downs a chance to fatten their Festivus wallets."
Players must be 18 or older to enter.
The player with the largest cumulative bankroll at the conclusion of the "10 Days of Festivus Challenge" will earn the grand prize of $1,000. Second place in the contest is worth $300 and third place is worth $100. Additionally, there will be 10 daily winners of $100 each (all daily winners remain eligible for the overall contest prizes).