- “Last man standing” elimination contest still popular after 16 years
- Chance of winning the huge $50,000 prize attracted 2,525 entries in 2018
- Vegas’ favorite college basketball elimination contest is back for 2019
Las Vegas has seen countless contests come and go, but one appears to be withstanding the test of time – Last Man Standing. Every year, it draws thousands of entries at Station Casinos. With a huge $50,000 guaranteed prize, it’s not surprising that this contest is so popular.
How to play
The Last Man Standing Elimination College Basketball Contest is a winner-takes-all survivor pool. It’s a daily contest during the NCAA Tournament – players pick one selection from the Basketball Contest Card, selecting a winner every day against the point spread listed on the daily contest sheet.
Contestants who lose a round or fail to submit a pick are eliminated. The winner is the last man standing on day 10 of the competition.
The original game
Sportsbook manager Bill Walkowski came up with the idea for the contest for Texas Station.
The first one drew 279 entries for a $6,975 prize pool, much to Walkowski’s delight. In a recent interview he stated: “I was sweating it, because when you bring something to your bosses in any job you do, it better work.”
He was relieved to still have his standing in the company.
Walkowski credits Las Vegas radio host Mitch Moss for helping Last Man Standing grow. Moss was at ESPN 1100 in 2006 when he and co-host Doug Marsh won the NFL contest — and $17,600 — and renamed his show “The Last Man Standing.”
He created Last Man Standing as a low-risk, high-reward alternative to Stations’ Great Giveaway football contest. “The concept goes back a lot longer than 2003, but I’ll take a bit of credit for bringing it to the casino,” he said.
Texas Station was the only one to offer it until 2007. Then the contests were offered at every Station property with a $50,000 guarantee.
“I was like proud papa watching this contest grow to become a corporate contest,” Walkowski said. “It’s the only contest that can traverse over multiple sports. And you never know, with the Golden Knights in town, there might be a hockey one.”
Low stake – big reward
Forr Walkowski, he created Last Man Standing as an opportunity to win big for very little outlay. Entry tickets cost just $25 for one or 5 for $100. And to keep good odds the maximum number of entries per person is still five.
Some contestants use the same pick on all five entries, and others use five different selections to improve their chances of survival.
With a minimum $50,000 prize, it’s hardly surprising that the contest is still so popular and continues to grow.
Last year, the lucky 2018 winner took a huge $51,350 prize pool, after knocking out 2,524 other contestants.
Mr Walkowski added: “It’s a fun contest and you don’t have to risk a ton for a chance to win a lot.”
The ‘Last Man Standing’ 2019 contest sign-ups are now open through to Thursday, March 21st with a 9am deadline.
There are currently opportunities to play at Palace Station, Boulder Station, Texas Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe, Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson, Wildfire Rancho, Wildfire Boulder, Wildfire Lanes, Barleys, Wild Wild West, Wildfire Sunset, and El Cortez.