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How a Standard Grid Contest Works

By Justin Wool   |   August 30, 2018

Grid Contests - also commonly known as Super Bowl Pools or Squares Contests - are a fun way to easily spice up any sporting event. Unlike fantasy football or contests where participants need to pick the winners, Grid Contests don’t require participants to bring any knowledge or strategy to the table.


Inviting Players to Join

Once a contest is created, participants are invited to join the contest. The participants simply visit the Grid website and select the square(s) they want to own.

Grid Contests can fill up pretty quickly if you get creative with how you reach potential players.

You can send an email to your entire contact list, describing your contest and providing the necessary information they would need in order to visit the online squares pool and reserve their boxes.

You may wish to post the details of your contest to your Twitter or Facebook account, to reach a wider audience.

The Top Axis and Left Axis labels are most commonly simply populated with the names of each team in the sporting event being featured, with the eventual coordinate numbers for each axis corresponding directly to each respective team.

A standard Squares Contest.

Drawing the Coordinate Numbers

Typically, the commissioner of each contest waits until every single square in the grid has been sold prior to randomly assigning the coordinate values (often referred to as “the numbers”) at the top and left side of the grid. This means that every single square in the grid has equal value when players are selecting their squares - making the contest 100% about luck.

When the commissioner is ready to populate the axis numbers, he or she initiates the population of the numbers.

This can be done randomly using the website with a simple, instant push of a single button.

Alternatively, the commissioner can manually enter specific numbers into the top axis and left axis. This is commonly done when the contest has someone draw the numbers physically out of a hat or some other such fun ceremony done outside of the website.

Determining the Winning Boxes

Once the axis numbers have been drawn, the fun begins.

In a typical Grid Contest, the current winning square is determined by the single’s digit of each team in the sporting event being played.

An example winning box.

For instance, if the score of a football game is 27-13, the singles digit of each score is 7 and 3. So the box with the coordinates of (7,3) would be the current winning box.

The example grid above shows a winning square at Eagles 6, Patriots 7. This square would be the winning square for any of the following scores, based on the singles digit of each score:

Eagles 6, Patriots 7
Eagles 26, Patriots 17
Eagles 46, Patriots 7
Eagles 6, Patriots 77

If the contest is run for a football game, the commissioner might structure it such that the score at the end of each quarter wins a share of the prize. For example, the box matching the score at the end of the 1st quarter gets 20% of the prize. The halftime score box gets 25%. The 3rd quarter score gets 20%, and the final score gets the big prize of 35% of the winnings.

For instance, the following scores were the actual scores from the 2018 Super Bowl at the end of each quarter:

1st Quarter: Eagles 9, Patriots 3
Halftime: Eagles 22, Patriots 12
3rd Quarter: Eagles 29, Patriots 26
Final Score: Eagles 41, Patriots 33

The image below showcases the actual four winning boxes if our grid belonged to a real contest during the Super Bowl in 2018.

Super Bowl 2018 Winners by Quarter.

The yellow box represents the 1st quarter score. The blue box won the Halftime prize. The orange box won the 3rd quarter slot, and the grand prize for the Final Score went to the lucky owner of the green box.