Thousands of dollars from sports app helped a New Yorker pay for his wedding and a Texas resident pay for his child’s delivery and student loan bills
DALLAS, TX – Having a perfect week of NFL picks paid off for two individuals during the 2019 NFL season — and the payments consisted of thousands of dollars. Whether you’re excited for the 2020 NFL season or not, this story might just add a new reason for you to watch. Being an enthusiastic football fan paid off for one groom-to-be, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Justin Backus from Dansville, NY downloaded the CES Picks app to play with his fiancé and friends, and he walked away with $25,000.
“I couldn’t believe it at first. I was like, ‘Is this real? Is this happening?’ I started thinking about everything we could use the money for,” said Justin.
Justin was the only player in 2019 CES Picks who qualified for the prize because he was the only one to successfully choose the winners of each NFL game in a single week as well as the tiebreaker score — the total number of points scored in a week’s final two games. “I didn’t find out until the end of the NFL season that I won,” Justin said. “We booked our honeymoon, bought our wedding rings with it, paid the DJ and part of the photographer. A lot of money has gone to the wedding.”
Justin and his fiancé, Lindsey Johnson, will tie the knot in October. But it wasn’t just the wedding that they were able to pay for. The soon-to-be newlyweds were also able to pay off the down payment on land they recently purchased together with their family’s help. “It was a blessing,” he said. “It has set in, but it really hasn’t set in.”
Lindsey was diagnosed with stage 4 Uterine Cancer just before finding out about the big win. She is a healthcare worker who was forced to stay home for the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The couple said winning the $25,000 added a dose of positivity to their journey. “We were saving before, but with the winnings, we were able to stop wishing and do other things, like help family and friends for everything they’ve given us over the years,” Justin said.
When the couple looks back on this years from now, Justin will always remember the moment he received the check and showed it to his late father. “My dad was lying on the couch sick, and I went and showed him,” said Justin. “I told him I needed a picture of him with it, and I went to go get it from him, and my dad wouldn’t let go. He said, ‘This is my beer money, I am not letting this go!’ I told him, ‘Yes, Pop, I will go get you some beer with this.’ We actually were able to have that beer before he passed.”
As for the 2020 NFL season, Justin and Lindsey will be playing CES Picks again.“We’re not missing a single week,” he said. “You only have to take a few minutes to put your picks in, and you never know what can happen. You might win it all, you might win some gift cards, but you’ll always have some fun.”
When City Electric Supply Operations Manager Tyler Vandiver joined the fantasy football app, CES Picks, he didn’t expect to end up with $10,000. He joined the app after his coworkers said they wanted to play for some friendly competition, but none of them, especially Tyler, predicted a win.
“I happened to have a perfect week and didn’t think anything of it. Two months later, I received a phone call letting me know I won $10,000,” said Tyler. “I was like, ‘There is no way!’ It doesn’t matter if I sign up to win a dollar lollipop — I am not going to win it. I never win anything.”
The perfect week means every team Tyler picked in a single week won their game. As a result, he was entered into the $10,000 drawing at the end of the 2019 NFL season, which he won. CES McKinney Branch Manager Zach Litchen was working with Tyler when he received the call. “He dropped his phone and didn’t talk for 30 or 40 minutes! I kept asking what was wrong,” Zach said. “Eventually, he just sat down and said that he won $10,000. Man, I was even more excited than he was! He didn’t talk for the rest of the day.”
And the win couldn’t have come at a better time. Tyler had just welcomed his first child a little over a month prior to finding out he’d won. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife. “When I finally told my wife, she was absolutely shocked. The money was a huge blessing for us,” Tyler said. “We covered our daughter’s delivery, paid off some student loans, some bills, and ended up saving the rest. But when I think about it now, daycare in North Texas is no joke when it comes to price, so this will help with that, too!”
“Hands down, the best thing that has happened to me this year was my daughter being born, but winning the $10,000 is an easy second,” he said. “I do know one thing, though. I’m not missing a game this year.”
CES Picks is a sports app created by City Electric Supply that allows family and friends to join thousands of other players to submit their weekly drafts during the NFL season. Players compete against each other by picking who they believe will win each week.