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How to Organize a Pool for the Big Football Game

Whether you're rooting for one of the teams or just love a contest, a pool will have you cheering.


  • : Several states officially bar all gambling, including pools in which the organizer does not profit. Know your local laws before organizing a pool involving money.
  • Step 1: Make a grid On the poster board draw a grid 10 rows across and 10 columns down, using the marker and ruler. Leave enough room in each square for people to write their names.
  • TIP: If you don't want to make your own, there are several web sites that offer printable pool sheets. Type "printable football grid" into a search engine to find one.
  • Step 2: Label with team names When the big game's teams are determined, write their names on the poster board, one above the top of the grid and the other down the left side.
  • Step 3: Pick squares Pass the grid along to anyone interested in placing a bet. Let participants pick as many empty squares as they’d like, writing their name in each one.
  • TIP: If gambling is legal where you live, you can play for money. Most friendly pools sell squares from $1 to $5 apiece, with all the money going into the pot. If monetary bets aren't an option, play for coveted bragging rights.
  • Step 4: Number pieces of paper After you’ve filled all the squares, cut 10 strips of paper, number them from zero through nine, fold them, and toss them into a hat or bowl.
  • Step 5: Draw numbers Draw a number at random and write it above the first square in the top row of your grid. Draw the remaining nine pieces of paper, filling in the corresponding numbers across the top row.
  • Step 6: Draw numbers for vertical column Toss the papers back in the hat and draw each one again, this time numbering the vertical column down the left side of the grid.
  • TIP: If you can't find enough takers to fill 100 squares, you can also make a five-by-five grid—just draw two numbers per square across the top and side.
  • Step 7: Photocopy grid Once the grid is filled in, make copies for the bettors. If you’re throwing a party, hang the original grid so everyone can see it.
  • Step 8: Find your winner When the game ends, take the last digit of each team’s point total to locate the lucky square. For example, if the final score is New York 17, New England 14, line up the No. 7 from the New York side of the grid with the No. 4 on New England’s side. The person with the intersecting square wins.
  • FACT: If you draw a zero or seven, you're in luck—statistically, that combination gives you the best chance of winning.

You Will Need

  • Poster board
  • A marker
  • A ruler
  • A few pens
  • Participants
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper
  • A hat or bowl
  • A photocopier
  • A computer printer (optional)
  • An actual interest in football (optional)

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