Pro Fantasy Rodeo announced that the Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Game is 46-year old Dee Tiller of Gonzales, Texas, whose winning team named “Bigdogtiller” amassed a total of $1,163,496.81 and earned Tiller the keys to a new Ram Truck with customized Ram 3500 4X4 Crew Cab wrapped in Kryptek Typhon by CMYK Graphix with custom bumpers by Builtech. The truck presentation took place December 16 after the conclusion of the 10-day Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas Dec. 2-12 by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association which coincided with the culmination of the 10-day Pro Fantasy Rodeo game, the official fantasy game of the PRCA.
WNFR contestants on Tiller’s team and their earnings included bareback rider Steven Peebles, $224,054, steer wrestler K.C. Jones $117,315, team roping header J.J. LeMond (replacement for injured Jake Barnes) $117,453, team roping heeler Jake Long $110,211, saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, $168,384, tie-down roper Caleb Smidt, $144,903, barrel racer Michele McLeod $138,346 and bull rider Sage Kimsey $142,576. None of Tiller’s team ended in the 2015 Wrangler World Standings less than 7th with Peebles at 1st, Jones 3rd; LeMond 7th; Long, 6th; Sundell, 2nd; Smidt, 1st; McLeod, 2nd and Kimzey 1st.
An avid team roper and rodeo participant since age 12, Tiller was justifiably excited when notified his team had won. Not only does he personally know some of the team ropers, but he is a personal friend of Caleb Smidt whose stellar performance won him his first world championship buckle in the tie-down roping. A barrel racing friend gave him a tip on who to pick for that event, he said. Tiller has played the Pro Fantasy Rodeo game for the past 6 years and has won money in some manner each year. Although reluctant to reveal his winning strategy, he said that he tends to pick high dollar value rough stock riders and spread the remaining money out in his timed event picks since those events are not as predictable. Studying the Pro Fantasy Rodeo Preview Magazine he receives each year has been beneficial in making some of his decisions, he relayed. Knowing that injuries to Peebles and Smidt last year (but healthy now) resulted in their lower rank and less expensive price helped Tiller meet the $550,000 Pro Fantasy Rodeo salary cap.
“The truck that I won is just awesome—a real nice rig–not some low-budget thing that most games award as a prize,” exclaimed Tiller. When asked about plans to use the truck, Tiller replied “I’ve got two sons 16 and 17 and two daughters 13 and 14, so they’re all calling “dibs” on it. I guess I’ll have to figure out a way for one to get it—a foot race or maybe who does the most chores around the place,” he laughingly said. With four teenagers heavily involved in youth rodeo, a three-year old who wants to learn and Tiller’s involvement in USTRC and other team ropings, the 20 steers he keeps at the place for practice and various horses, one can imagine there are plenty of chores to do!
Tiller won two additional prize packages from Pro Fantasy Rodeo, an option players can make when entering their team online for $5-$15 per prize choice. Tiller won the Cactus Saddlery Prize Package valued at $5,000 which included a Cactus saddle specially designed by the
winner, breast collar, saddle blanket, headstall, bit, and a pair of reins. He also won the Rodeo Vegas Prize Package which was a contestant version of the Rodeo Vegas Mad Max Leather Jacket available only to contestants, plus a Rodeo Vegas Tee Shirt and Flex Fit Ball Cap.
Besides his love of team roping, Tiller has been a professional golfer and professional poker player. But rodeo has long been a family passion, he said. Attending the Wrangler National Finals is a long-standing tradition with his family with Tiller able to get the season tickets his grandfather had held for decades. Someone from his family has attended the WNFR since the beginning when it was held in Denver, he said. It was five or six years ago while attending it that he came across the Pro Fantasy Rodeo booth at one of the gift shows, and he’s been an avid fan ever since.
Said Tiller, “I think what makes Pro Fantasy Rodeo one of the best games to play is that you have a lot of chances to win compared to other games. Besides working to win the truck, there are payouts every day of the 10-round competition and the prize packages. Not many games are set up that way. Most games you enter once and have a chance at one prize. I won money in the go-arounds and by the 3rd round I had paid for my entry fees! I would encourage players to enter 2 or 3 teams which give you a better chance at winning. Whatever you do, just enter! It’s great!”
Pro Fantasy Rodeo paid out over $175,000 in cash and prizes for the 2015 WNFR and paid 10 places in the go-rounds (daily) and 100 places in the average. The PFR average is based on each team’s total winnings, including the team member’s average and go-round winnings. Besides the first place prize of the truck, second in the average paid $10,000, 3rd $7,500 etc., paying money to 50th place with 51-100th place receiving a free entry for the next Pro Fantasy Rodeo game valued at nearly $100. Go-around money awarded each day paid $2,000 for 1st $1,000 for 2nd and so forth to 10th place.
Pro Fantasy Rodeo which began in 2003 has provided fun and excitement for rodeo fans with over 220,000 active fans on the PFR facebook, and a mailing and email database that has reached over 30,000. With the completion of the 2015 Wrangler Nationals Rodeo Finals, Pro Fantasy Rodeo has paid out over 1.4 million in cash and prizes throughout its 13 year history.
New this year was an option for players to vote for Favorite Contestant and barrel racer Fallon Taylor was given a check by Pro Fantasy Rodeo for $5,000 and a Fan Favorite Custom Buckle during a presentation at the Cowboy Christmas gift show on Saturday, December 12.
Keeping with the tradition of donating to a charity, Pro Fantasy Rodeo sent a check to Wounded Warriors for $13,593, the charity chosen by well-known rodeo announcer Boyd Polhamus who won the Charity Tattoo league sponsored by PFR. For further results and news, go to www.ProFantasyRodeo.com.