The football pools are a chance for people to place essentially a large accumulator bet on the results of football matches. The pools require you to select 10, 11 or 12 matches on your coupon and for you to be successful you need to have 8 games that finish as a 2-2 draw or greater. If you are successful then you will have the opportunity to win a share of the £3million prize pool on offer.
The games on offer range throughout the professional football leagues and are generally the first 50 matches over the 4 English leagues. You can select games from any of the leagues as long as they are part of the pools coupon.
The pools have been in operation for over 90 years and are the oldest football gaming company in the world. Each week over 600,000 people enter their pools coupon which has included some of the largest betting pay-outs ever including wins of £4million in a single weekend.
History of the Pools
The company was established in 1923 and their first betting exercise took place outside that of Manchester United’s stadium, Old Trafford. Back then the company was run by Littlewoods whose founder Sir John Moores opened the first pools book.
Over the next ten years two pools competitors in Vernons then Zetters were to come to fruition to rival that of the ever increasing popularity of the Littlewoods company and their Pools concept.
In 1957 the very first pool collectors hit the streets of the UK and went door to door to collect coupons from the homes of bettors. These sales persons were on a commission basis and get a percentage of every coupon they managed to sell. This initiative saw the concept grow massively and even today 7,000 employees still grace the streets of the UK visiting homes to collect pools coupons.
1986 was a breakthrough year for Football Pools as the first million pound jackpot was paid out to a nursing syndicate in Wiltshire. The prize money of £1,107,890 was the highest betting pay-out of its kind and still ranks highly even today.
The Pools have always seen fit to give back to communities and good causes related to sport. In fact, it’s been high on the agenda from a very early age of the Football Pools. In 1991 the company made a pledge to increase the money which they give to charities and communities and to date the Pools committee have given over £1.1billion to a host of good causes.
The pools record pay-out was smashed again in 1994 when a syndicate in Manchester managed to scoop £2.9milltion from the Football Pools.
2007 saw the owners of Littlewoods and Zetters pool buy out that of Vernons to form one big Football Pools company. The amalgamation of the three companies has allowed Football Pools to grow even bigger offering more in prize money and also more to be handed out to charitable good causes.
The Football Pools continued its growing partnership with the Premier League and the Football Leagues by being unveiled as an official sponsor of each. The deal included over £6million from the Football Pools to be invested into grass roots sports in under privileged communities.
2010 saw another record breaking year for the Football pools with their largest syndicate win of £4million and their largest single winner of the pools resulting in a tidy £3million pay day for one lucky winner from Brechin, Scotland.
Football Pools in Modern Day Betting
With the availability of so many online sports books and bookmakers it’s always going to be hard for a company such as The Pools to compete. With that being said, the emergence of the Football Pools going online in 2008 has certainly helped and allows people to access their accounts quickly and safely.
Unfortunately there has been a decline in the numbers who play the Pools. The younger generation of bettors tend to go via their bookmakers and place bets which probably have a lot more chance of a successful return.
On the other hand there are few bets in football that can be placed – or will even be paid out- which will come anywhere near to the pay-out of a successful football pools coupon. Whilst there are still million pound paydays up for grabs, bettors, even in the modern online era, will still be placing their Pools bets each week looking for that life changing pay day.