Who needs the lottery when you could hit it big playing fantasy sports? Draftkings allows you to do just that for a variety of sports with their lucrative millionaire maker contests. The remainder of this article will be a complete overview of how these contests work. We’ll also give you the tips and tricks you need to potentially win one of these contests.
You’ll often hear these contests referred to as milly makers. The name is pretty self-explanatory – the contest makes one lucky person a millionaire. DFS players pay an entry fee to enter the contest and ~20% of entrants are paid out.
Even if you don’t win first place, these contests typically payout over $100,000 to the top 5 as well. As you can imagine, this type of money is life-changing to some people, so these contests are quite popular.
Milly makers feature some of the largest total prize pools in the industry. It’s worth noting, however, that many of these contests are top-heavy. That means that a majority of the total prize pool is distributed to the top 10 finishers. Any other winning entrants are usually left with the short end of the stick depending on their buy-in.
You’ll see different types of millionaire-maker contests depending on the sport and your budget. NFL DFS arguably has the highest concentration of these contests, but PGA, MLB, and NBA have them as well. Entry fees can range from $5 to upwards of $10,000.
There are a lot of strategies involved when it comes to millionaire makers because they’re usually large-field contests. The “field” or field size is essentially the total number of people entering a given contest. As you can imagine, whenever there are thousands of people entering a contest, winning becomes more difficult.
The most important strategy to consider with milly makers is getting contrarian. Just like it relates to poker, being contrarian just means getting different in DFS. It’s like taking the road less traveled as opposed to following the masses.
Being contrarian boils down to interpreting ownership percentages. Prior to entering a contest, you should do your research to determine who the highest owned players will be. Generally, high ownership alludes to that player being one of the best options available. It’s up to you to decide whether eating the chalk is beneficial in this situation.
Building contrarian lineups will work out well when a high-owned player doesn’t perform to their expectations. This happens more often than you might think, thus making it a solid strategy to get different in your builds. On the other hand, there will always be a case where the chalky plays do their job and end up being necessary. You need to follow news and research consistently on a week-by-week basis to identify the avoidable situations.
Another good strategy is to make sure there’s some sort of positive correlation in your lineups. This will vary across sports, but generally speaking, there should be some type of synergy. For example, in NFL DFS you’re better off playing offensive pieces with whatever quarterback you draft. In MLB DFS, it’s best to full-stack an offense as points for one player usually results in points for the others. This sort of mutualism, where more than one player benefits due to the actions of others, is what you’re looking for.
An Overview of Each Sport
It’s quite difficult to talk about milly makers comprehensively as strategies vary depending on the sport and contest type. Knowing this, we’ll give a brief overview of these contests for all the major sports.
There’s usually a milly maker available every week in NFL DFS, whether it be a showdown or classic contest. NFL is the most popular daily fantasy sport, so it only makes sense that the contests have the largest prize pools. Unfortunately, these contests also happen to be quite large. Low-stakes contests often feature up to 300,000 people, so getting contrarian is a must.
It’s not often that you see an NBA contest with a million dollars up top. Thankfully we do see them every now and then – they’re most common around Christmas time and around the playoffs. Milly makers are less common in the NBA due to the sheer number of games in a relatively short amount of time. Regardless, prize pools are still some of the biggest in the industry here.
Draftkings offers PGA milly makers for major tournaments and occasionally other events on tour. These are among the smallest field sizes you’ll see in terms of millionaire makers, but they’re still highly competitive. Buy-ins can range from $15 to $4444 for this type of golf contest.
Baseball contests with the largest prize pools are generally high stakes. This is great if you prefer a smaller field size but you’ll need a hefty bankroll. Draftkings doesn’t offer millionaire makers frequently for the MLB because they play 162 games in a season. It’s likely easier for them to manage their typical $50k GPP as opposed to managing a massive contest with 10X the potential payouts.
Why Ownership Matters
Below you’ll see an image that explains why ownership matters in DFS. This was the first NFL showdown contest of the 2022 season with $1 million to first. As you can see, nobody really won first place because dozens of people had the exact same lineup.
Now, ownership isn’t always going to be a huge factor, but you need to understand when it does matter. The above screenshot was taken from a NFL showdown contest, and by nature, it’s harder to build unique winning lineups in showdowns. Understand that your chances of actually taking home the big prize in certain contests is slim.
If you play fantasy frequently, you might realize that the “crowd-favorite” team to stack in NFL or MLB doesn’t always work out. The chalky, heavily-backed team might do terribly and leave a huge percentage of the field with a loss. When you opt for low-owned plays in this situation, you’ll likely reap the benefits. You can read more on ownership projections in our extensive guide.
Draftkings Millionaire Maker Tips
The following are some tips if you plan to entering a milly maker on Draftkings in the future. Remember that DFS is strategy based but it is also heavily subjective. You do not have to agree with or consider these tips – they’re simply a resource.
- Take a look at the field size prior to entering a contest. Realize that your chances of winning big drastically decrease as the field size increases.
- Build contrarian lineups. You’re not going to succeed by doing the same thing everyone else is doing in large contests.
- Max-enter contests whenever possible. Most milly makers are 150-max entries, so you’re at a huge disadvantage only playing one or two lineups.
- Track your ROI using excel or any other software. This will let you know where you’re performing the best and what to focus on.
- Compare fantasy point and ownership projections across all major platforms to determine the general consensus for a player.
- Check the contest’s entrants if you want to know who you’re playing against on a given day. It’s easy to identify sharp players and avoid the contests with lots of them.
Throughout this guide, we’ve discussed Draftkings’ millionaire maker contests and how to approach them. The main thing to remember with small-stakes milly makers is that the field size is massive. Getting contrarian will give you the best chance of the jackpot, but anytime you’re up against 300,000 people, the chances are slim.
There’s better contests to enter if you really care about ROI, but it’s impossible to hate the thrill of these huge prize pools. Although we suggest max-entering whenever possible, it never hurts to throw a dart at these contests when they come around – especially if they’re cheap. If you have conviction on a certain slate or game, it might be worth taking a shot.