Fishing fantasy earns New Yorker $100,000 prize

Syracuse, N.Y. – Eugene Sullivan couldn’t have been more down on
his luck.

Unemployed and recovering from major surgery, the Syracuse man
faced mounting bills and an uncertain future.

But Sullivan’s fortunes turned completely around last month with
help from an unlikely source – fantasy fishing.

An avid angler in real life, Sullivan had never ventured into
the world of fantasy fishing. But after a chance introduction to
the game, he figured he had nothing to lose.

The result was beyond his wildest dreams. Sullivan won the third
tournament of an international online fantasy fishing game, FLW
Fantasy Fishing – and claimed $100,000.

“It turned out fantastic. I was in shock. At first, I didn’t
believe it,” said Sullivan, 54. “I didn’t think it was true. I
called two or three times to have them reassure me.”

Sullivan, a data security administrator, was laid off by J.P.
Morgan Chase a year ago amid mass layoffs within the financial
services industry. Then, in early April, he unexpectedly underwent
heart bypass surgery, from which he is now recovering.

Sullivan didn’t know it at the time, but a few months before his
surgery, he planted the seeds that would lead to his windfall.

He was visiting Turning Stone Casino in January when he saw a
promotion for FLW Fantasy Fishing.

“They gave out a Web site, so when I left, I came home, logged
onto the Web site, and signed up for it,” Sullivan said. “They have
154 professional bass fishermen. You have to pick 10 fishermen you
think will catch the highest total weight. You get awarded points
for how well your fisherman does. I picked the winner and had three
picks in the top 10.”

Sullivan earned 12,188 points based on the performance of his 10
bass pros who fished Lake Norman, near Charlotte, N.C., from April
23-26. Stetson Blaylock, a rookie on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour,
finished first, and Sean Hoernke finished fifth, just as Sullivan
had predicted.

Sullivan never played any kind of fantasy sports before, but now
he’s hooked.

“Eugene’s huge win demonstrates that you don’t have to be an
avid bass angler or fantasy sports nut to be successful at FLW
Fantasy Fishing,” said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW
Outdoors.

Even with his $100,000 in winnings, Sullivan continues to play
FLW Fantasy Fishing and is in the hunt for the $1 million grand
prize.

He’s now in 9th place overall in FLW Fantasy’s six-tournament
series and is within striking distance of the top spot. But he’s
got plenty of competition. There are players from 123 countries
competing to accumulate the most points over six tournaments.

There are two events left on the FLW Fantasy Fishing schedule.
The $1 million grand prize will be awarded Aug.1 in Pittsburgh.

In the meantime, Sullivan isn’t letting his sudden good fortune
change him. He hasn’t gone on any wild spending sprees, but said at
some point he might use a little of the money to buy something just
for himself.

“I’m looking for work right now. I’m just keeping up with the
bills,” Sullivan said. “I’ll think of something to treat myself
with; maybe some new fishing equipment.”

To learn more about FLW Fantasy Fishing, go online to www.FantasyFishing.com.

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