Want 25 years worth of Buffalo Bills tickets for free? One very well-crafted schedule could be your answer.
The team, in partnership with the New York State Lottery and Million Dollar Media, is offering up a chance to win "tickets for life," i.e. a quarter-century's worth of Bills home games, worth as much as $37,500.
The tickets, which come as a pair not to exceed $75 dollars each per game, are the grand prize of a contest challenging fans to correctly predict the exact order of the team's 2014 schedule. In order to be eligible for the prize, the schedule must reflect 17 correct choices for each week of the season, including whether the game will be home or away and the team's bye week.
So for example, if you picked Buffalo to play Mike Pettine's Cleveland Browns on opening day at Ralph Wilson Stadium and that was indeed the case, you'd get 10 points toward the ultimate goal of getting 170 total points. If you picked the New York Jets to visit Western New York in Week 1 and Buffalo instead traveled to play the Jets that week, that would count as an incorrect answer.
Contestants must be legal U.S. residents of New York, Ohio or Pennsylvania (or Ontario, Canada) and must be over 18 years of age. The Schedule Prediction Challenge began on March 20 and ends at midnight on April 15. The contest would also end if the league publishes the schedule beforehand, or if the team receives 50,000 entries.
The official rules and regulations state the odds of winning as, "based upon the number of eligible entries received, and the skill and ability of each eligible Entrant to predict the actual 2014 Buffalo Bills schedule." That sounds like a nice way to avoid giving the actual probability of winning, but based on our weak math skills, we'll summarize it as a long shot.
Good news is, even if you're not feeling that lucky, the first place prize -- granted if nobody hits a perfect schedule -- is a pair of tickets to each home game for the 2014 season (following the same monetary guidelines above). That prize would be granted to the person with the highest score out of 170 points.
Follow the links below for the official list of the team's opponents for this season and for the official registration site. You need a valid email address to participate, as well as all the typical pertinent information, like your address, phone number, birth date, etc.
Good luck, and check back with us for our picks and for updates on team schedules for each divisional team once they're released.