Super Bowl Sunday: Letting Your Kids Gamble.

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Every year, when I get to my sister’s house, my nephew hits us up for money for his Super Bowl Pool.* We end up buying each of the kids some of their own boxes and we get a few for ourselves. It makes the game more interesting, competitive and fun for everyone — even the little guys who couldn’t tell a touchdown from an interception.

The problem is, even if we win, we lose because we are laying out a lot of cash (not as much as the little girl in the photo above though, thank God! Think Washingtons and Lincolns–not Benjamin Franklins!) We’ll still do it though, because it really does make for a better party, and we are gamblers by nature.

This year, in addition, I am doing a Family Super Bowl Pool.

Here are the my rules:
1. Boxes will be “sold” on an arbitrary basis the week before the game.
2. One good deed, kindness, good grade on a test, chore done, etc. will earn boxes (at my discretion, of course.)
3. “Player” can write his or her name in the empty box of his or her choice.
4. Parents CAN play.

Winners will be named at the 1st and 3rd quarters, halftime and final.
Prizes can be anything from little trinkets, to gift cards, to favors from other family members to money (if you are strapped for time, a little cash always works.)
My final winner is getting to be King or Queen for a day the following weekend.
Halftime chooses dinner for the whole week (and dessert.)
Quarter winners receive 3 get out of jail cards each.

Make up your own rules, have some fun. Take advantage of this great opportunity to teach your kids how to gamble at a young age. Click here for a printable of a Super Bowl Pool

My family’s will look something like this. (I didn’t get a chance to fill in all the names because I had to get my picks in.)

*Don’t know what a Super Bowl pool is? Here’s a brief description.
It is a 10×10 table, with each box in the table having a value. Some pools cost $1/box, some $10,000/box. The total collected (minus a fee for the organizer) becomes the Kitty. For each box purchased, you put your name in an empty square. Immediately before game time, the numbers 0 through 9 are put in a hat and randomly picked and placed above each column. The numbers are shuffled again and placed to the left of each row. One team represents the top (horizontal). One team represents the side (vertical). The last digit of the score is used to determine winners. There can be a prize for many different moments in the game, i.e. score changes, 1st quarter score, halftime score, reverse, final score, etc. So, for example, if the score if the Top Team is winning 24-10, the winner will be the person whose name is in the box below the number 4 and to the right of the number 0. By the way, it is illegal, so don’t tell anyone I told you.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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