CES Picks: The Not $10,000 Winner
Most seasons, we have one CES Picks $10,000 winner. And this year, well, we technically had none. It’s not because nobody qualified, but because the $10,000 winner made one heck of a bet when he found out he did.
“Both Kevin and I had a perfect week on the exact same week,” said Matt Buratovich, the Sales Rep at CES Gaffney. “So, we made a bet to improve our chances. If one of us wins at the end of the season, we’ll split the winnings.”
And then they shook on it — a true gentleman’s agreement between Matt and his Operations Manager, Kevin Warburton. No contract. No Sharpie on the dotted line. Just a word and a handshake.
“We talked about it, and we figured there couldn’t be that many people who have a perfect week,” Kevin said. “We doubled our chances to win and agreed that we’d split the prize money if either of us did.”
Smart move. This year, 19 people qualified, the second-most ever in CES Picks history. When you think about it, $5,000 is way better than $0.
The Winning Phone Call
“I was shocked,” Matt said. “I don’t play the lottery or do scratch offs, I never win anything, really. When I got a phone call that said I won $10,000, I think I said some words that weren’t bleeped that should’ve been!”
He did. But he also owned up to his side of the bet. He got Kevin in on the call right away and told him the good news.
“I might’ve said some bad words, too,” laughed Kevin. “When I got home and told my family, they thought I was lying about it. It wasn’t until my wife actually spoke with Matt that she started to believe it.”
“I do know one thing,” Matt added. “I don’t think my wife will ever get upset with me again for all the late nights doing drafting, or fantasy football, or for staying up to watch NFL games. She might even join in next year!”
Bold move, but he’s promised her a very nice vacation with the prize money — so he gets a pass this time.
The Prize Money
Speaking of prizes, it’s not all vacations for Matt and his wife. He’s getting some toys out of it for himself, too!
“Zero turn lawnmowers are where it’s at! I might even update some of my old hunting equipment while I’m at it.”
Plus, he made sure to include the other fun stuff, like putting as much as he can into a savings account.
As for Kevin, what’s he going to do with his winnings when he gets his check? Matt guessed Disneyworld, and Kevin pretty much agreed.
“Yeah, he’s probably right!” Kevin said. “As soon as things are more normal, we’ll probably have a nice trip to Disneyworld.”
You Play CES Picks to Win, or Not Be Last
Now, if you haven’t played CES Picks, you’re missing out. Not just on cash prizes and weekly NFL Shop gift cards, but also on the bragging rights. And, oh boy, are there are a lot of bragging rights.
“It’s never about how well you do. It’s about how terrible the worst player in your league does,” laughed Matt. “We have a few customers who play with us, and it’s a lot of fun. We’ll bet and talk junk about anything.”
But what about some words of advice from the champion? Just download and play.
“I literally downloaded an app that I got for free on my phone and won $10,000. Well, $5,000. It is FOR REAL,” he said. “And when you play, trust your gut. Even though the percentages say this or that, trust your gut.”
At the very least, even if you don’t win or qualify for a cash prize, you probably won’t be last in your league.
Next Season of CES Picks
For anyone who has high hopes of playing next year, watch out. Matt is no stranger to late nights, studying NFL teams and NFL players, and making all the right calls. Well, mostly right calls. He does play fantasy football, after all.
“I’ll be talking about this for years,” he said. “All of our customers know about it, and our branch won’t forget about it any time soon.”
But, the real question on everyone’s mind, will he make another bet with Kevin? We reached out to Kevin for comment, and he was OK with it. How about you, Matt?
“Not a chance,” he said. “I’m not shaking hands next year.”
Your champion has spoken.