SuperContest not waiting to get going

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Those just waking up from this year’s Super Bowl snoozer won’t have to wait until July 1 to register for the 2019-20 Ultimate Pro Football Challenge at the Westgate’s SuperBook.

For the first time, the most popular football handicapping event will start accepting entries on March 1, four months sooner than usual.

“I thought it was important we capture that March surge and give those visitors that opportunity to enter the contest during their visit in March,” said Jay Kornegay, Westgate VP of Race and Sports Operations. “Certainly, the March Madness crowd was the main factor. In those four months we have the start of baseball, the Masters, the Kentucky Derby and we have the NHL and NBA playoffs.”

Known universally as the SuperContest, the event carries a $1,500 price tag, with entrants required to register prior to the start of the regular professional football season. Contestants pick five games each week against the contest line. The contestant who earns the most points by the end of the pro football schedule is declared the champion.

Non-Nevada residents may take part by using a proxy to enter their selections each week.

Kornegay said he’s positive the 31st annual SuperContest will once again set a record by awarding its largest prize to its grand prize winner at the conclusion of next season. Last year the event set a record for the eighth consecutive year for entries, with 3,123 entrants.

This past season Eric Kahane went 5-0 against the spread in Week 17 to win the $1,422,214 cash prize — the largest award in the contest’s long history.

Kornegay, along with Westgate Director of Public Relations and Community Affairs Gordon Prouty, said it would be tough to set a number on how big of a participation increase they expect. But they said a safe estimate would be between 15 and 20 percent with the four-month head start.

In addition to the isolated sporting events between March and July that bring in viable entrants, Prouty said having the proximity between the SuperBook and the property’s convention center will also allow conventioneers who visit the sports book to learn about the contest and potentially enter.

“The SuperBook is must see when you’re in Las Vegas,” Prouty said. “It’s a wow minute. And so, it helps with the publicity and give us an opportunity to showcase the book – which is one of a kind – and the contest.”

Prouty noted the property is celebrating its 50th anniversary, so the early entry day coincides and adds another promotion to help showcase all the events at the Westgate.

Broadcasting veteran Brent Musburger of VSiN will be on hand to place the first entry at 10 a.m. Pacific on Friday.

“It highlights the prestige of the property and the contest when someone like that wants to do that,” Prouty said about Musberger’s interest in the event. “Having that type of broadcasting icon just really showcases the prestige.”

In addition to the SuperContest, the SuperBook will once again offer the SuperContest Gold, which debuted in 2017. The $5,000 contest is separate from the SuperContest, with the winner walking away with 100 percent of the entry fees. The winner-take-all contest has contestants select five pro football games against the spread, similar to the SuperContest. Last year’s winner took home $640,000.

Kornegay said the SuperBook will also start accepting entries for its annual MLB Wins Challenge, and its Hoop Showdown, which entails picking the most winners against the spread during the first two days of the NCAA Tournament.

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About the Author

W.G. Ramirez

W.G. Ramirez is a 32-year veteran covering sports in Southern Nevada, and resident of 46 years. He is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada correspondent for The Associated Press.

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