Fantasy football is something a lot people do for fun. Usually it consists of people like you or me, drafting NFL players on a team and competing against their friends' teams throughout the season, but there are others who really get into it. According to Forbes online, fantasy football has become a 70 billion dollar industry. And one Siouxland man recently got in on that money.
Fantasy football is everywhere! From sites like Yahoo to ESPN, fans can't get away from the exploding popularity of the game. There's even a sitcom surrounding fantasy football on the cable channel FX, with cameos from NFL Players.
Most formats pit friends or family against each other in a season long league with a winner emerging from the playoffs.
"That's how I started," said Travis Spieth, Winner of the FanDuel $1 Million Prize. "I've been doing it a little over 15 years, joining a bunch of leagues. I'm in 8 standard leagues now."
Travis Spieth, the general sales manager at Siouxland News, is a self proclaimed 'fantasy geek.' But it was a different kind of fantasy football that got Travis into the money.
The web site Fan Duel dot com is a site that allows users to pick a different team every week based on a salary cap of 60-thousand dollars. A 10 dollar entry is all that it takes to get signed up, but for Travis it almost didn't even happen.
"You know it was an accident," said Spieth. "A friend of mine coaxed me in to it. I kind of denied it because I was so busy. Didn't really know what it was. The first week I jumped in a tournament, didn't really know much about it and found out it was a tournament in Las Vegas that turned out to be a life changer."
Travis' team held on and earned him an all expense paid trip to Sin City. And that's where things got interesting. Much like he did earlier in the year, Travis put together his team, using a little strategy.
"I started the team out with Andy Dalton. Jamaal Charles because I'm a Chiefs fan and he had a good match up. I went with DeSean Jackson because he was one of the guys that got me into the tournament. And then I picked Montee Ball and he ended up being the fun at the end."
As any fantasy player will tell you, doubt can be a killer when putting your line up together. But he stayed the course and it paid off.
"It ended up being the time of my life, ended up winning a million dollars."
A million bucks for playing fantasy football thanks to one player!
"Montee Ball plunges in for a touchdown and it was his 4th try on the goal line and that put me in first, that Montee Ball was a 900-thousand dollar touchdown."
So the question everyone wants to know...what are you gonna do with that million bucks?
"Pretty much now just go into my tax, pay Uncle Sam what I owe him and just sit back and hopefully set my child up and my family up for a future, going to college. I don't really have any big plans what to do with it or anything like that, but just kind of wanna save it and move forward and live life like I normally have."
Travis says he'll try and make it back and defend his title next year.