Political Junkie? FanDuel Has 2020 Presidential Debate Pick’em Games

Written By Dann Stupp on September 28, 2020 - Last Updated on August 4, 2022

Political betting? On a debate between presidential candidates? It’s possible – sort of – with FanDuel’s recently announced 2020 Presidential Debate Pick’em games.

It’s not actual wagering, per se. But the person who picks the most correct answers from a list of 10 questions in the free-to-play election pool will win $10,000.

Tuesday’s debate is the first of three between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Virginia has its fair share of political junkies. Can a player from the Old Dominion take home the top prize and earn VA some political bragging rights?

Political betting in Virginia?

Virginia legalized sports betting earlier this year, and the Virginia Lottery recently unveiled final regulations. As a result, the first sportsbooks will likely be online in VA as soon as January.

However, political betting, like wagering on the results of US elections, will be illegal in Virginia. In fact, political wagering is banned throughout the US.

But FanDuel, one of the world’s most prominent sportsbooks, found a workaround. Not only is the new game geared around a presidential debate instead of a presidential election, but it’s also doesn’t require any real money to play.

Simply sign up on the FanDuel app or website to join the contest. Then, submit your answers for each question, and then watch the debate on any of the major networks to see how you do.

The 90-minute debate takes place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace will moderate the debate, which begins at 9 p.m. EST.

Here are the 10 questions that players will need to answer:

  1. How will the candidates greet each other?
  2. What issue will the first topic address?
  3. Which candidate will be asked to respond first in the debate?
  4. What color tie will Trump wear?
  5. Will Trump refer to Biden as “Sleepy Joe?”
  6. Will Biden and/or the moderator mention Trump’s Twitter activity?
  7. Will Biden mention “Scranton?”
  8. Which candidate will be the first to be cut off by the moderator because they are over time?
  9. Will Biden play a song on his phone during the debate?
  10. Will Trump mention “fake news?”

For the first question, players will choose elbow bump, fist bump, handshake or none of the above. Other questions will have similar answer options from which to choose.

The winner (or winners) with the most correct answers wins (or splits) the $10,000 prize.

FanDuel’s other 2020 election contests

President Trump and former Vice President Biden will debate three times leading into the general election on Nov. 3.

In addition to Tuesday’s debate, they’ll take the stage on Oct. 15 in Miami and Oct. 22 in Nashville. Additionally, Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris will meet in a VP debate on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City.

FanDuel will offer pick’em games for each of the debates. In addition to the $10,000 prizes for each debate, FanDuel has set aside $10,000 for the top cumulative picker from all four debates.

Additionally, beginning Oct. 21, the company will also offer a free election pool. Players can predict the outcome of election-related markets to win prizes.

It’s basically “one big commercial” for FanDuel to woo new customers who may not be interested in the usual sports offerings.

As FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger said:

“We remain as committed as ever to our brand promise of giving our players more ways to win. We demonstrated this when we hosted our first-ever political contest for the Democratic Debate back in March, which our customers loved. As we continue to lead our industry forward in innovation and creativity, we’ve seen incredible engagement around marquee events not tied to sports, such as awards shows, reality TV competitions, and more.”

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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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