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A football pool is betting on the outcome of a number of matches taking place on a certain day as part of a betting pool. There are no odds involved as bettors simply attempt to predict the results. The cost of entry is usually fairly low with the added attraction of a large prize depending on the amount of entrants.
The traditional football pools were particularly popular before the introduction of national lotteries and online betting. Littlewoods introduced the first football pools in 1923 and even today they are a well-loved way of betting on football.
With the traditional football pools, bettors needed to predict 10, 11 or 12 matches to end as a draw. Points were then awarded for each correct prediction with three points given for a score draw, two for a goalless draw and one point for a home or away win.
The Football Pools is still going today although there are a number of different games attached to the name. Competing with the huge rise in popularity of online football betting has been hard but the chance of a big win for a small outlay still attracts a loyal fan base.
With any football pool, the more popular the game is, the bigger the prizes as the money comes solely from the entrant fees.
In 1986 a syndicate of hospital workers from Devizes became the first million pound winners on the Football Pools. The exact amount of the prize winnings was £1,017, 890. But the highest ever jackpot was won in 2010 when Michael Elliott of Brechin won £3,001,511 by betting on eight 2-2 draws in matches in Scotland, Spain and England.