Five Things To Know About The DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship

The NCAA crowned Clemson its national football champion Monday night.

The championship spotlight now shifts to DraftKings Sportsbook and its first-ever Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC).

The event — the first one to take place outside of Nevada — is taking place Jan. 11-13, at the DraftKings VIP Sportsbook venue in Jersey City — located minutes away from New York City.

There may not be a Vince Lombardi Trophy to hoist into the air, but the top players will walk away with large sums of cash. There is a $2.5 million guaranteed prize pool with the top finisher walking away with more than $1,000,000.

What to know before you go to Jersey City

Sports betting is not legal in New York City (though it is legal in Pennsylvania), but residents outside of New Jersey age 21 and older are eligible to participate.

With that, there is a maximum of 600 entries, one per person, at the DraftKings’ national championship.

Like a PGA tournament, the key to victory is being at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the weekend.

Here are five other things to know if you plan or hope to make it to Jersey City this weekend.

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1. Betting hours

The DraftKings’ national championship isn’t open 24 hours a day. Instead, here are the set hours of action:

  • Fridays: Noon- 1 a.m.
  • Saturdays: 8 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • Sundays: 8 a.m.-4:25 p.m. (scheduled kickoff of NFC Divisional game)

2. Wagering requirements

Players must wager a total of $2,000 on Sunday’s NFL games to be eligible for prizes.

Here are some other basic rules:

  • Bet on any sport you want on Friday and Saturday (players must place a total of $1,000 in bets by the close of competition on Saturday).
  • You can bet only on the two NFL divisional playoff games (Chargers vs. Patriots and Eagles vs. Saints) on Sunday.

3. Betting options and guidelines

All bet types including point spreads, parlays, cash-outs and live betting are permitted.

Players can bet on games outside of the SBNC tournament using their DraftKings Sportsbook app. But here’s a warning to those who choose to go this route.

From DraftKings’ website:

“Wagers made outside the SBNC tournament account or using DraftKings Sportsbook account funds will not count — only wagers using the SBNC tournament dollars are eligible.”

4. Prizes and winners

Players will take home their final bankroll at the end of the weekend.

Prize money will be transferred to your DraftKings’ online account and eligible for withdrawal.

The top 10 finishers will walk away with at least $50,000 apiece. Here is the prize breakdown:

  • $1,000,000 (first)
  • $350,000 (runnerup)
  • $250,000 (third place)
  • $175,000 (fourth)
  • $100,000 (fifth)
  • $75,000 (sixth and seventh)
  • $50,000 (eighth through 10th)

Note: The above breakdown is based on 531 or fewer entries. 

5. New York, New York

You do not need to be in New Jersey for the entire tournament.

While some may want to stay at the tournament site during betting hours, it’s not required. Taking a timeout to visit New York City is permitted.

Here’s how to enjoy both:

  • Players must be in New Jersey to bet.
  • Players are required to check in with DraftKings once during scheduled hours at the player hotel (DraftKings has set aside room blocks) or event location before 1 p.m. Sunday.
  • Players are free to spend the remainder of their time as they please.

How do I earn a spot at DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship?

Want to play? Secure a spot by purchasing a direct buy-in for $10,000 (includes $5,000 entry and $5,000 bankroll).

Spots are reservable via:

The other, cheaper way to enter is winning tonight’s (Jan. 8) NBA Daily Fantasy Sports qualifier.

That entry fee is $16 and here’s how it works:

  • The top finisher earns a spot in the sports betting national championship.
  • Second through 32nd place will win cash prizes, but not the golden ticket.
  • Multi-entry contest (up to 28)
  • Players in all eight NBA games taking place tonight are eligible to be drafted.
  • The total number of available spots is 955.

Follow the NJ sports betting action as it happens online

For those who can’t attend but still want to know what happens this weekend, you can follow along on Twitter via @TheLinesUS (

They’ll have all the details and commentary, plus videos and interviews.

About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.