$10 to $10k: The Deceivingly Difficult Challenge Destined to Leave Bettors Penniless

  • The $10 to $10k challenge has taken off on Twitter and TikTok recently
  • Despite its appearance, the challenge is nearly impossible to complete
  • One in every 1,024 will complete the challenge (mathematically speaking)
  • Parlays make individual legs safer but don't change the overall likelihood
Empty wallet
The $10 to $10k challenge is sweeping social media but is deceivingly hard to complete. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The new fad

Although hopeful bettors have tried it for a long time, the $10 to $10k challenge is the newest social media craze sweeping across the sports betting spheres of TikTok and Twitter. 

Within the challenge, the bettor’s objective is to double the money in their account every day for ten days. This provides what seems like a “realistic” approach to immediate and significant financial gain instead of hunting improbable parlays with long odds.

most people that enter the $10 to $10k are doomed to fail

As captivating as the results can be, most people that enter the $10 to $10k are doomed to fail. Let’s take a look at just why that is.

Beating the $10 to $10k

Bettors need +100 odds (200% return on investment) to double their money. Although +100 odds imply that one outcome is just as likely as the other, that is not the case. Sportsbooks skew the odds in their favor so that they can consistently walk away with a profit.

Regardless, let’s imagine that +100 odds have a 50% chance of hitting and a 50% chance of failing. If we assume a bettor places a wager with this chance every day of the challenge, they will need to win ten 50/50s. The odds of this can be found by multiplying .5 against itself 10 times, or .5^10.

So what chance does a bettor have to defy these odds? The answer is less than inspiring:

That translates to one in every 1,024 bettors finding success, or odds of +102400.

Still assuming that every bet has an equal likelihood of failing and winning, a bettor has a 0.098% chance of completing the $10 to $10k challenge. That translates to one in every 1,024 bettors finding success, or odds of +102400.

Success for some

Granted, they call it a challenge for a reason. That’s why winners have gained so much popularity online.

Betting Twitter account user Stick_wit_it540 has received more than 1.3 million views for a post commemorating their successful challenge:

Meanwhile, Tik Tok user jordothesportsbettor gained lots of attention when he reached day ten of his own challenge with a staggering cash out option of $5,637.68, although his final bet failed:

Different approaches

Although the odds are clearly against the bettor, there are several popular methods used by bettors to complete the challenge. The first is picking standard game lines (spreads, moneylines, or totals) and coupling them with “sure-fire” props to boost the value to +100 if needed.

Another method is the use of parlays. Since this challenge is all about getting to +100 odds, bettors do not need to hunt for enormous payouts, like one bettor who turned a $50 free bet into over $100,000 during the NFL playoffs.

A +100 two-leg parlay would require legs that average -241 odds. -241 odds have a 70.7% chance of hitting, which is why this method can be so attractive—however, hitting two bets with those odds has just under a 50% chance of happening.

A +100 three-leg parlay would need legs that average -385 odds. Bets with these odds have a 79.4% chance of hitting, but like the two-leg parlay, the chances of three -385 odds bets hitting consecutively is right around 50%.

the chances that the parlay hits will always be just about 50%

The same sort of trend holds for parlays of any amount of legs. More legs in a parlay will make individual legs safer prospects, but the chances that the parlay hits will always be just about 50%, just the same way that a single +100 odds bet implies 50% probability.

Another way to help beat the odds is to modify the challenge. Reassuming the 50/50 scenario, if you start with $20, or what would normally be day two, your odds jump from 0.098% to .195%. That means that a bettor would hypothetically win once every 513 tries. Not great, but still significantly better.

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