Last month, a former Bachelor contestant was stripped of her $1 million prize won in a DraftKings online fantasy football contest after the company opened an investigation into the win amidst accusations of collusion.
As we previously wrote about here, Jade Roper-Tolbert, a former contestant on the reality TV show “The Bachelor” beat more than 100,000 entries to win first place in the DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker Contest. Roper-Tolbert and her husband both submitted the maximum of 150 lineups per person for the contest. However, nearly none of the couple’s entries duplicated the other’s, leading to accusations that that the couple may have colluded to increase their chances of holding the winning combination.
After conducting an investigation into the contest, DraftKings issued a statement that it “decided to update the standings for several contests. All customers affected by the updated standings will be notified directly. It is our general policy not to comment further on such matters.”
On the same day, attorney Alan Milstein tweeted that his client was declared the winner in the DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker Contest, in which he further stated, “I have had my share of interesting cases but never conceived this would be one of them.”
It remains unclear whether a settlement was reached with Roper-Tolbert to strip her of her prize or if she will pursue legal action against DraftKings.
Takeaway: This resolution serves as a reminder to contest sponsors to have clear language in the rules that set forth methods for dispute resolution and disqualifying entrants who engage in fraud. Additionally, games with public leader boards and other voting contests should employ fraud-detection technologies. Contest sponsors should work with their agencies to ensure such software and processes are in place.