Fort Lauderdale Man Wins $1 Million Playing Fantasy Football
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Who says you can't make a living playing fantasy sports?
Fort Lauderdale's Drew Dinkmeyer just won $1 million playing fantasy football on Draft Kings in their Millionaire Maker tournament.
"I believe this was the 9th millionaire maker held," he said. "I've participated in all of them with roughly about 50 entries in most."
For last week's tournament, the entry field was expanded from the usual 90,000 available spots to 120,000. Of those, there were over 109,000 entrants in the tournament that Dinkmeyer won.
This win was no fluke, as fantasy sports have played a large role in his life since a young age.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, Dinkmeyer decided to become a professional in the fantasy sports world.
He started out as a fantasy writer and did that for about a decade until deciding to leave his finance job in June of 2013 to play fantasy sports full time.
"I came to the decision after a few years of playing daily fantasy sports and making commensurate money on the side to my finance career," he explained. "When I started providing content and recommendations as a subscription business, which we now host at RotoExperts.com, I was stretching myself too thin. It became apparent I couldn't do all the things I loved and my wife suggested I chase my dream and leave my finance job.
"All my friends and family have been exceptionally supportive of me. They trust that I'm not a particularly impulsive person so that if I've made a huge decision like this, [they know] that I had really thought it through."
The big win didn't come without its fair share of stressful moments. Halfway through the NFL's Week 15 games, Dinkmeyer knew that he had some ground to make up.
The first big step towards winning the tournament came during Sunday Night Football.
Thanks to a big game from Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, Dinkmeyer suddenly found himself in prime position to make a run at the million dollar prize.
This is where the story really gets interesting.
Dinkmeyer, a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, had his hopes of sealing the victory come down to Monday night's game between the Bears and the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints dominated the majority of the game and held a 24-0 lead after three quarters. That was good for Dinkmeyer because the lone player he had remaining on his tournament winning team was Bears rookie wideout Marquess Wilson.
Wilson had a relatively quiet game, but made a big splash for Dinkmeyer early in the fourth quarter.
With just under 13 minutes left, Chicago faced a 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line. Going against the way that the Bears had handled similar situations throughout the season, the team lined up with multiple receivers on the field.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw a bullet in Wilson's direction, and anybody within a few miles of Dinkmeyer probably heard his reaction to the young receiver catching his first career touchdown pass.
Now sitting in first place of the tournament that fielded over 109,000 entries, Dinkmeyer had to sweat out another twelve-plus minutes of football before being showered with champagne to celebrate the win.
Now that he's a millionaire, the options of what to do next are endless.
"I promised my wife we could go on a nice vacation around our anniversary. Other than that, no big plans. I'm an investor at heart and will save or invest the majority of the money."
Does that include continuing to play fantasy sports for a living?
"Yes, absolutely. It's my passion. It's the thing I get up and think about every day."
As for his favorite football team and their up-and-coming rookie receiver, Dinkmeyer said that he would love to be able to meet Wilson and tell the story of how his first career touchdown catch meant a lot to both of them.
"I'd thank him first! Then I'd probably tell him I was a huge fan that is an even bigger fan now and I hope he has a long and great career with the Bears."
Now that he has a cool million in the bank, Dinkmeyer may be able to see the Bears more often in person.
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