Did These Married Bachelor Stars Cheat to Win a $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest?
An unusual series of events has merged the worlds of The Bachelor, the NFL playoffs, DraftKings, high-stakes daily fantasy sports, and of course, lovers of controversy.
“Jade Roper Tolbert, will you accept this rose as this week’s Millionaire?” read a since-deleted tweet from the DraftKings Twitter account on Sunday night, after the Bachelor veteran won the company’s million-dollar fantasy sports contest by choosing a combination of NFL players across four playoff games, in a “lineup” that scored higher than any of the competing 105,000 entries.
Jade “accepted” the social media rose from DraftKings, but now the company is investigating the matter amid widespread allegations that she and her husband, Tanner Tolbert — who appeared on season 11 of The Bachelorette — colluded and cheated in violation of contest rules. DraftKings has also held up the million-dollar prize as of Tuesday afternoon.
“It is incredibly important for us to establish that Jade’s win is nothing more than pure luck,” the couple wrote in an email to ESPN on Monday night. “No one has ever said a peep about us when we lost for 17 straight weeks.”
The Tolberts, who met during season two of Bachelor in Paradise, have made no secret of their ongoing participation in the weekly contests. Jade’s DraftKings handle is literally her name, while Tanner’s (ttolbert05) includes the family name, and he is known to participate in these contests fanatically. (During a Vulture Festival event last fall, Tanner said that “fantasy football stuff” is the thing he does that most annoys his wife.)