In what may be the biggest publicity stunt of the 2018 World Cup, the Stars Group, parent company of PokerStars, is giving away The Stars £100 Million Challenge, a $137 million payout to anyone who can predict the outcome of 64 matches at the 2018 World Cup.
If awarded, the payout could result in one of the largest prize giveaways in sports betting history. The possibility of correctly predicting all 64 winners, though, is astronomically high. In that way, the £100 Million Challenge is a similar to a free contest Warren Buffett touted for March Madness several years ago, though that contest had a $1 billion first prize.
The free-to-enter World Cup contest is hosted by PokerStars, BetStars, and PokerStars Casino. The prize will be awarded to a perfect win-lose-draw prediction for all 64 World Cup matches.
The first World Cup match starts June 14 and will run through July 15.
Stars £100 Million Challenge
The £100 million jackpot is the attention-getter, but the other prizes offered are what bettors should focus upon. The top thousand entries receive prizes, while the award for the player that can correctly predict the next highest number of match results will be given a prize of $10,000. The first-place prize includes a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), a championship live poker event will take place in January 2019 in the Bahamas.
The Platinum Pass reward is no small addition, because it goes for roughly $30,000 and comes with a $25,000 PSPC buy-in, accommodations at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, and approximately $2,000 for travel and expenses. Players have the opportunity to place multiple entries into the Stars £100 Million Challenge. The first entry into the challenge is free, though multiple entries cost either time or money. Any entry past the first free-to-enter one will be available to those customers who complete certain in-client challenges.
The final day to enter will the day before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The challenge is open to players based in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Players from Gibraltar and the Isle of Man are excluded.
Rafi Ashkenazi on £100 Million Challenge
Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group, said of the World Cup promotions, “This summer we’re living up to our ambition of becoming the world’s favorite iGaming destination by offering our customers the chance to win one of the biggest prizes in sports betting history.”
Mr. Ashkenazi added, “The Stars £100 Million Challenge will also allow us to become part of the enormous global betting interest in the World Cup and will make The Stars Group the place to be while watching the action this summer.”
Though the chances of anyone perfectly predicting the outcome of each 64 matches correctly is slim to none, the opportunity to win other prizes makes the Stars Group’s World Cup promotions worth entering.
About the Stars Group
The Stars Group is best known for its ownership of PokerStars and Full Tilt. The Stars Group describes itself as one of the world’s top providers of technology-based products and services for gaming as well as a leader in interactive entertainment industries.
Its “Stars £100 Million Challenge” is touted as the Montreal-based company’s first official cross-vertical, multi-market promotion, and will involve PokerStars, BetStars and PokerStars Casino. A leaderboard will track all players who have entered with points, which are awarded for any correct predictions.
Along with the top two prizes, the top 1,000 entrants from the leader board. The Stars Rewards loyalty program will be adding over $4 million in prizes. Some of the prizes offered include free bets with BetStars, PokerStars Casino bonus spins, and PokerStars Spin & Go tickets.
The Stars Group has other World Cup sports betting promotions, including new Football Frenzy and Spin & Goal game variations at PokerStars. The world’s largest online poker company also has Odds Boost options at BetStars, as well as enhanced Stars Rewards. Customers will be rewarded for their play across all three brands.
PokerStars will be running $1 million Spin & Goal tournaments, which offer several prizes including $1 million.
Cricket Star Freddie Flintoff
Along with the £100 Million Challenge the Stars Group will be introducing the company’s first multi-brand ambassador: Freddie Flintoff. Mr. Flintoff is a former cricket star and popular TV presenter, who describes himself as an avid poker fan.
While promoting the Challenge, Freddie Flintoff said, “The Stars Group brands don’t take themselves too seriously and everyone knows I’m no stranger to poking fun at myself, so I’m really happy to be an Ambassador and the face of the USD 137 Million Challenge. So far it has been pretty epic, even if the prize is the star. I’m excited to be a part of what comes next.”
Flintoff is representing the company across its poker, sports betting, and casino platforms.
Stars Group on Freddie Flintoff
Christopher Coyne, Stars Interactive Group’s CMO, said of the partnership, “When we decided to launch the biggest betting promotion in history, we thought about hiring the biggest star in the world to be the face of the Stars USD 137 Million Challenge… but there isn’t a star that’s big enough, so we got Freddie Flintoff.”
Coyne added, “Freddie wanted to be part of the promotion and when we said yes he was over the moon. That led to the campaign creative of shooting him into space.”