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Survivor Pool Picks 2020

Past Performance

We’re the only site that collects comprehensive subscriber results data that proves our edge

Since we started asking in 2017, our subscribers have reported

Survivor pool prize winnings of more than $2,484,399

That’s just the 16% of subscribers that answered our email surveys; total projected customer winnings are significantly higher.

Data we collected via survey shows that our subscribers

Won 238% more Survivor pool prize money than expected

That’s like winning a 25-person pool once every 7 years, instead of the baseline expectation of once every 25 years (and not splitting the pot with any co-winners).

The performance data tables below reflect customer reported results from 3,294 real-world pools.

Pool Win Rates By Season

Year to year, how much prize money have our subscribers won in each individual Survivor pool they entered, compared to expectations?

Season Pool Win % Avg % of Pot Won Avg Actual Pot Share Avg Expected Pot Share Pot Share vs. Expectation
2017 24.2% 49.7% 12.0% 2.6% 4.6x
2018 11.4% 54.1% 6.1% 3.0% 2.1x
2019 19.3% 53.3% 10.3% 2.8% 3.7x
Total 18.1% 52.1% 9.4% 2.8% 3.4x

On average, our subscribers have won a prize in 18.1% of pools they entered. Accounting for split pots, they have won 9.4% of the prize money in those pools. That is 238% higher than the expectation of 2.8%.

Based on our customer surveys, every year, an average of

31% of our subscribers win at least one Survivor pool prize

Winning a pool is tough and our picks certainly don’t win every year. But if you’re willing to trust the process, the longer term rewards have been impressive.

Subscriber Win Rates By Season

Year to year, how much prize money have our subscribers won across all the Survivor pools they entered, compared to expectations?

Season Won 1+ Pools Avg % of Pot Won Avg Actual Pot Share Avg Expected Pot Share Pot Share vs. Expectation
2017 40.9% 36.2% 14.8% 2.5% 5.8x
2018 20.7% 36.1% 7.5% 2.8% 2.6x
2019 32.8% 38.6% 12.7% 2.8% 4.6x
Total 31.3% 37.2% 11.6% 2.7% 4.3x

On average, 31% of our subscribers have won at least one Survivor pool prize each year. Accounting for split pots, they have won 11.6% of the prize money available across all their pools. That is 328% higher than the expectation of 2.7%.

Drilling down into the details of survey responses, we find that

Reported edges hold across a variety of pool types and sizes

It's not just a lucky performance in one type of pool driving the overall success rates.

Pool Win Rates By Type Of Pool

Since 2017, how much prize money have our subscribers won in Survivor pools they entered, compared to expectations and broken down by the specific rules of each pool?

Pool Features Won 1+ Pools Avg % of Pot Won Avg Actual Pot Share Avg Expected Pot Share Pot Share vs. Expectation
Standard Rules 16.3% 56.2% 9.2% 2.5% 3.7x
Multiple Picks 15.5% 35.9% 5.6% 1.3% 4.1x
Strikes 23.1% 54.1% 12.5% 4.3% 2.9x
Buybacks 22.9% 50.5% 11.6% 3.4% 3.4x
Continues Into Playoffs 20.8% 52.1% 10.8% 3.2% 3.4x
Season Wins Tiebreaker 19.2% 54.2% 10.4% 2.4% 4.4x
Byes 10.9% 44.6% 4.9% 2.2% 2.2x

As you can see, our Survivor picks have delivered an edge in all types of supported pools. (Note that we support combinations of these pool types, but if we break the data down further, the sample size gets too small to be meaningful.)

Pool Win Rates By Pool Size

Since 2017, how much prize money have our subscribers won in Survivor pools they entered, compared to expectations and broken down by the size of each pool?

Pool Size Won 1+ Pools Avg % of Pot Won Avg Actual Pot Share Avg Expected Pot Share Pot Share vs. Expectation
25 or fewer 29.6% 66.8% 19.8% 8.6% 2.3x
26 to 50 23.2% 59.8% 13.9% 4.0% 3.5x
51 to 100 21.4% 56.0% 12.0% 2.6% 4.5x
101 to 250 14.4% 49.9% 7.2% 1.7% 4.3x
251 to 1,000 15.5% 37.2% 5.8% 0.7% 7.9x
1,001 to 9,999 10.7% 18.9% 2.0% 0.2% 8.9x

As expected, the bigger the pool, the harder it is to win, in an absolute sense. Customer pot share goes down as pool size goes up.

However, the relative edge from using our picks (Pot Share vs. Expectation) goes up as pools get larger.

Pool Win Rates By Number Of Sheets Entered

Since 2017, how much prize money have our subscribers won in Survivor pools, compared to expectations and broken down by by the number of sheets they entered in each pool?

Number Of User Entries Won 1+ Pools Avg % of Pot Won Avg Actual Pot Share Avg Expected Pot Share Pot Share vs. Expectation
1 16.2% 57.9% 9.4% 3.0% 3.2x
2 17.7% 53.6% 9.5% 2.7% 3.5x
3 22.3% 49.0% 10.9% 2.8% 3.9x
4 22.2% 42.2% 9.4% 2.5% 3.7x
5 23.4% 40.9% 9.6% 2.2% 4.4x
6 to 10 17.2% 47.0% 8.1% 2.2% 3.7x
11 to 30 20.3% 23.1% 4.7% 2.0% 2.3x
More than 30 33.3% 66.7% 22.2% 12.6% 1.8x

So far, we've seen solid edges no matter how many entries our subscribers submit, with the biggest edge vs. expectations seen when customers enter 6 to 10 sheets in a pool.

However, some of this is simply do to the math of calculating an edge: customers that submit more than 30 entries already have such a large expected pot share that even winning 50% of all prize money (on average) would be a lower edge than what we see in the "6 to 10 entries" group.

How We Calculate Prize Win Expectations

To calculate how much prize money one should expect to win in a Survivor pool (called the expected "pot share"), we make the assumption that all players in the pool are equally skilled.

In real life that's not exactly true; usually pools are filled with a mix of more skilled and less skilled pickers. But as long as it's a fairly even mix, this approach serves as a simple and "close enough" benchmark.

We also adjust pot share expectations for the number of entries a subscriber played in a specific pool.

For example, in a 100-person Survivor pool, baseline expectations would give each player a 1-in-100 (or 1%) expected pot share, assuming they each entered only once.

However, if a player played two entries in the pool, then their expected pot share would be higher than 1%. We account for this in the "Avg Expected Pot Share" numbers in the tables above.

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