AFTER months of playing the odds to his advantage, Dominic Brown faced a table of 200 numbered envelopes knowing just one would grant him $25,000.
It may seem like a tough choice to make, but the winner of The Standard’s TopTippa footy tipping competition knew it was still the best chance he would ever have to win that amount of money.
Mr Brown, a 21-year-old La Trobe University student, last Saturday ended up with an envelope containing “only” $500, the minimum consolation prize for seven TopTippa winners across the state.
“It’s a horrible thing to say but I was a little disappointed initially that it wasn’t $25,000, but pretty soon it hits you that you’ve won $500 and that’s a hell of a lot of money,” he told The Standard while visiting his home town of Warrnambool.
“I was trying to do the maths in my head, but even without the prizemoney I’d got a hell of a prize pack — staying at a 4½-star hotel, tickets to the grand final and a three-course dinner with drinks.”
Mr Brown and the other finalists were tasked with tipping different aspects of the AFL grand final, given $1000 of virtual money to see who could finish the day with the best return and win a chance at picking a $1 million envelope.
He finished fourth overall and watched the overall winner take home $5000, while he and other finalists each ended up with $500.
“I tried to hedge my bets and put smaller amounts on a wide variety,” he said.
“The winner tipped the first score of the first quarter as a Hawthorn goal, putting $200 on it, and picked right with the second quarter and the fourth.
“There was an adjudicator making sure it was legit and I was so nervous because everyone’s watching you with cameras and recording it.”
For some people $500 might not go far, but with a three-week volunteer trip to Nepal planned this summer through La Trobe, each dollar will make life easier for the full-time law/science student.
“I work infrequently, so this would be four shifts of work, when I normally only do one shift every two or three weeks,” he said.
“I study law and science, so they’ve asked if I can do some science classes over there and explain some basic experiments.
“I wrote in to Football Federation Australia and the AFL a month ago and they both said they wanted to get on board, so I’ve got a couple of AFL balls and soccer balls to take over.
“The kids worship soccer over there and I want to teach them AFL.”
Mr Brown’s brother Isaac, 18, won the junior section of The Standard’s TopTippa competition and collected a $500 Harvey World Travel voucher for his efforts.