Circa Survivor Hits $9M Prize Pool, 31 Contestants Fail to Pick in Week 1

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Las Vegas-based sportsbook Circa Sports (pictured) has attracted a record number of bettors to its 2023/2024 NFL contests.

The “Circa Survivor” contest has amassed a record-breaking prize pool of $9,267,000. As of the recent count, it has attracted 9,267 entrants, who each paid $1,000 for their participation privilege.

Players must pick a winning NFL team each week, with the twist that each team can only be picked once per entry. Pick a losing team, and you’re out.

Last week, we reported the operator was facing a $1.3 million overlay on Circa Survivor, needing 1,500 more entries to hit 8,000 and match its guaranteed prize pool with only days to go.

However, the largest Nevada retail sportsbook smashed past that target in the end, with nearly 2,500 more entries for its football betting contest coming in over the weekend.

Week 1 Winners and Losers

With week 1 of the NFL season now over, nearly 2,000 entrants have already been eliminated from Circa Survivor. That includes 31 entrants who made the strange choice of paying $1,000 just to not make a pick.

The biggest losing bet of the first round was the Minnesota Vikings, who lost 17 – 20 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 1,044 Survivor picks were placed on the Vikings. Meanwhile, 600 bettors fell at the first hurdle after picking the Seattle Seahawks, who lost 13 – 30 against the L.A Rams.

Only two teams weren’t picked by any of the 9200-plus entrants. That was the winning Miami Dolphins and the losing New York Giants, who got steamrolled 40-0 by the Dallas Cowboys.

The most popular winning pick of the opening week was the Washington Commanders, who beat the Arizona Cardinals, 20-16. Around 38% of Survivor contestants correctly picked the D.C.-team as Week 1 winners, but will now be unable to choose them again this season.

Circa Millions and a Deadline Race

The partner contest to Circa Survivor, “Circa Millions,” lets bettors pick against the spread each week, with points awarded on a leaderboard based on accuracy of picks.

It just made the 6,000 competitors needed to guarantee its $6 million prize pool.

Last year, Circa Sports faced a similar challenge in getting entries in at a late stage. A week before the deadline, they were looking at a $3.2 million overlay. However, a last-minute influx of entries reduced the overlay to $1.3 million across both competitions.

This year, they’ve done even better. Circa Survivor entries are up 50% on 2022, and the operator faces no overlay for the prize pools of either event.

Circa Sports’ venue at the Circa Resorts & Casino in Las Vegas, which claims to be the largest sportsbook venue in the world, allows players from across the U.S. to compete in the contests – despite Nevada law requiring bets to be placed in-person at the sportsbook.

That’s because they offer a proxy service to entrants for placing each weeks picks. However, players did have to sign up for the competition in-person at one of Circa Sports’ two locations in Nevada, the other being at the Legends Bay Casino in Sparks.

Bettors who do visit in-person can also check out the absolutely huge wall of screens and the recently-launched Sports Gambling Hall of Fame.

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