Former “The Bachelor” contestant Jade Roper Tolbert is under investigation for allegedly colluding with her husband to win a $1 million DraftKings prize over the weekend.
Roper Tolbert is married to Tanner Tolbert, who is described as a high-volume daily fantasy sports player, meaning he plays lots of games and submits multiple entries.
Over the weekend, both Jade and Tanner submitted the maximum 150 entries into the DraftKings “Millionaire Maker” fantasy sports contest that involved the four NFL Wild Card Games. The grand prize was $1 million. A single person is only permitted to enter 150 lineups in the contest at an entry fee or $25. Someone playing the maximum amount of entries is making a $3,750 investment to give themselves the best chance of winning the big prize.
Lineups include a combination of eight players and a defense/special teams. Jade’s winning team featured Deshaun Watson, Alvin Kamara, Devin Singletary, DK Metcalf, Kenny Stills, Adam Thielen, Darren Fells, Dalvin Cook, the Titans’ defense, and racked up 180.78 points to finish first in the contest.
I’m pretty sure this girl was on The Bachelor. I only know this because my girlfriend forces me to watch it. pic.twitter.com/fkONNR3V99
— Alex Baker (@AwesemoDFS) January 6, 2020
She tweeted that she was the winner and joked that her husband told her not to play DK Metcalf, the Seahawks rookie who set a rookie playoff record with 160 receiving yards on Sunday.
Hahaha that’s me! And Tanner told me I shouldn’t play DK Metcalf! https://t.co/Ry25Kuq4k9
— Jade Roper Tolbert (@jadelizroper) January 6, 2020
Even though she joked about Tanner saying not to play Metcalf, someone pointed out that she played Metcalf in 88 percent of her entries, while Tanner played him in 78 percent of his. Obviously they each felt confident in Metcalf to use him so frequently.
But yet you played 88% and he played 78%? pic.twitter.com/HsCWpglZ6k
— Bryan (@blaunder) January 6, 2020
Many fantasy players analyzed their teams and do not believe Jade won the prize on her own. Instead, they feel the two coordinated efforts when picking their teams. Some noted that their 300 combined lineups contained many of the same running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, however, they had one key difference.
This is absolutely insanity and is the the clearest collusion ever. Check the QBs lmao pic.twitter.com/JudoCAT0JQ
— William Bierman (@williambierman) January 6, 2020
The difference is that Jade almost exclusively used AFC quarterbacks (Watson, Josh Allen, Ryan Tannehill), while Tanner used almost exclusively NFC quarterbacks (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz).
They cheated, end of story. pic.twitter.com/urp2Mbt9HQ
— huitcinq (@huitcinqDFS) January 6, 2020
Submitting similar lineups without actually having identical lineups seems like a coordinated strategic effort.
VIOLATION OF DRAFTKINGS’ TERMS
In addition, conduct that would be deemed improper also includes, but is not limited to:
Colluding with any other individual(s) or engaging in any type of syndicate play;
Using a single Account to participate in a Contest on behalf of multiple entrants or otherwise collaborating with others to participate in any Contest;
DraftKings’ Community Guidelines contains many other examples of warnings against collusion, making it clear they don’t want people coordinating lineups, as the Tolberts appear to have done.
Adding to the questions about who was responsible for the lineup, a different former Bachelorette contestant and DFS player tweeted (and deleted) congratulations to Tanner, not Jade, despite supposedly being on the phone with them about it.
DraftKings issued a statement on the matter and said they are looking into things.
Statement from @DraftKings on brewing controversy involving former Bachelor contestant winning $1 million contest: "We take the integrity and fairness of our contests very seriously and are looking into this matter."
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) January 6, 2020
This is not the first time DraftKings has faced collusion allegations for the Millionaire Maker contest. Three years ago we posted a story about brothers who were investigated for alleged collusion after winning the $1 million prize. The brother appears to have been cleared after an investigation.