Add Excitement to the Super Bowl by Creating a Box Pool

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Group of friends watching television
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The Super Bowl game, the National Football League's championship, has become a spectacle that attracts even those who ordinarily have no interest in football. A box pool is just one way to create more interest—and a monetary incentive—for both football fans and non-fans alike.

A box pool consists of a grid of boxes that are sold, and each box corresponds to two numbers—one matching the column the box is in and one matching the row. One team is assigned the row numbers and the other team is assigned the column numbers. If the last digit of each team's score matches those two numbers, the person who bought that box is a winner. For example, if the final score is 21-14, the person who has 1 and 4 for the correct teams is the winner.

Often, prize money is split based on the score at the end of each quarter and the final score. The person who has the box that corresponds to the final score usually gets a bigger payout.

Note that sports gambling remains illegal in many jurisdictions, so know the law in your area before running a box pool. 

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Create a 100-Box Grid

© Allen Moody

First, create the boxes for your Super Bowl box pool using a downloaded template or by drawing them by hand. If you draw 11 horizontal lines and 11 vertical lines, you will have 10 rows of boxes going across and 10 rows going down, for a total of 100 boxes. To leave enough room for names, make the boxes at least one-inch square.

Label one team at the top of the boxes (columns) and the other team going vertically down the left side of the grid (rows). If you want to start your pool early and the teams are still unknown when you create the pool, you can identify them by conference—the National Conference and American Conference. 

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Have Bettors Fill in Grid Squares

© Allen Moody

Have the bettors write their names in each of the squares they purchase and collect the money. Each square can be worth whatever amount you choose, but common prices for boxes are $5, $10, and $20. Count the money and put it in a safe location. Alternatively, you can leave the first row and first column blank so that you can fill in the numbers for the scores. 

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Draw Numbers for Each Row and Column

© Allen Moody

Next, draw numbers for the rows and columns of squares. Randomly draw zero through nine and fill them in at the top of each column. Do the same for each row.

For example, Paul has the square that corresponds with Team A scoring six points and Team B scoring two points.

In football pools, just the last number of a team's score is used to determine the winning square. In this example, Paul would win the pool if Team B happened to defeat Team A by a score of 12-6 or lost by 12-26.

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Watch Game and Give Out the Money

If you are going to pay out a portion of the money at the end of each quarter, separate the money into envelopes, then watch the game. Once each quarter is over, go the board to see who has the corresponding square and give them their money.