Sports

A ‘Bachelor’ Contestant Was Accused Of Cheating After Winning $1 Million On Daily Fantasy Sports

A contestant from The Bachelor became one of the most famous people to win a million dollars on a daily fantasy sports contest, but immediately drew scrutiny from the betting community. Jade Roper Tolbert, who competed on season 19 of The Bachelor and later the second edition of Bachelor In Paradise, shared on social media at the conclusion of Wild Card Weekend that she’d won the DraftKings Millionaire Maker daily fantasy contest.

The win nets her a top prize of $1 million, but as news spread of the reality TV celebrity’s win, fantasy players accused her and husband Tanner Tolbert of cheating their way to the windfall. Tanner, of course, appeared on Season 11 and Season 2 of Bachelor In Paradise, where the two met. Appearing on these shows often provides contestants a huge follower base on social media for a post-Bachelor influencer life, which is where the trouble started for the two gamblers. Word of the win spread through Bachelor fans who follow the robust online community of former contestants and their spouses on Instagram and Twitter, and on Sunday Roper Tolbert acknowledged that, yes, she’s the one who won big.

DraftKings, aware of her influence in the Online Bachelor Ecosystem, tweeted a reply to Roper Tolbert with some Bachelor terminology.

DraftKings on Twitter

That tweet was later deleted, however, after accusations appeared that the Bachelor duo may have cheated their way to a win.

So what’s going on here? Daily fantasy sports are like regular fantasy sports, but for a single week of action and not an entire season. That’s pretty obvious, right? But DraftKings and other daily fantasy sites have certain rules about the number of lineup combinations you can play in their contests. The reasoning here is pretty clear, too: if you submit a high number of unique entries you have a much higher chance of hitting the exact lineup you need to win big. In this case, DraftKings allows 150 lineups per account.

The problem is the second tweet Roper Tolbert sent out, where she makes it clear her lineup was discussed with her husband over starting Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf. Both Tolberts have DraftKings accounts, and internet sleuths quickly learned that they each submitted 150 unique lineups. That’s 300 total combinations, twice as many as are allowed by a single person.

The clearest indication of possible cheating is here, in a breakdown of the quarterbacks each Tolbert submitted. There’s a pretty coordinated effort to avoid overlaps and maximize possible winning outcomes.

Smart betting is smart betting, and all fantasy sports amount to a certain bit of luck. But there are limits because, at a certain point, averages can be cut down significantly with the right strategy. And for many, the coincidences were just too much, resulting in cries of collusion.

As ESPN’s David Payne Purdum reported on Monday, DraftKings is officially looking into possible collusion and has deleted any reference to the contest winner from its Twitter accounts.

The lesson here, as always, is never tweet. Especially when something good happens.

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