Ex-‘Bachelor’ contestant stripped of $1M fantasy sports win
BOSTON (AP) — Sports gambling giant DraftKings won’t give a former “Bachelor” contestant the $1 million prize for winning an online fantasy football contest after she and her husband were accused of cheating.
Jade Roper-Tolbert, who appeared in “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” television series in 2015, was no longer listed as the winner of DraftKings’ “Millionaire Maker” contest, which involved picking a lineup of players from the NFL’s four wild-card games.
“DraftKings has decided to update the standings for several contests,” the Boston-based company said in a statement Saturday. A spokesman declined to elaborate.
Roper-Tolbert beat more than 100,000 entries to take the top prize in the “Millionaire Maker contest.”
But some in the fantasy sports community were quick to complain that both she and her husband, Tanner Tolbert, also an alum of the “Bachelor” franchise, each submitted the maximum 150 entries allowed in the contest, and that nearly all the entries had a uniquely different lineup of players.
That suggests the two may have colluded to give themselves the best shot at winning the top prize, which is not allowed under the contest rules.
Roper-Tolbert has been regularly playing in DraftKings NFL contests this season, and Tolbert is a prolific fantasy sports player. The two met as contestants on “Bachelor In Paradise” and married in 2016. They have said the big win was “pure luck.”
Earlier this month, when DraftKings announced it would review the contest, the couple suggested Roper-Tolbert is being singled out because she’s a female celebrity.
“It is incredibly important for us to establish that Jade’s win is nothing more than pure luck and we are confident that DraftKings will determine the same,” they said in a statement to celebrity website TMZ on Jan. 7. “Though we must ponder, would the questions, accusations and curiosity about this win be the same if the winner had been male and someone who wasn’t already in the public eye?”