As Ballhype has continued to grow its feature set and user base, the most addicting feature for me has been an old standby - the weekly "Golden Picks" contest, where site visitors can select winners of the day's games in professional sports, gaining extra credit for correctly selecting underdog winners. By consistently making my picks on a daily basis, being willing to take risks and occasionally using strategy, its been common for my name to be near the leaderboard each week, ever since the contest debuted in early April.
Grandfathered into the site, thanks to being part of its beta testing, I managed to win the first week's contest, and by week four, I had repeated the success, taking my second first-place finish. After fellow user "Joski" swept through May, I gained my bearings and took the first two weeks in June for my third and fourth wins. And last week, after 5 different people won in between, three of them (including Joski) doing so twice, I stumbled to the top, winning out in one of the closest margins yet, forcing the site to go into two decimal places to separate first place from second.
Erin and Jason Gurney, the site's co-founders, have been kind enough to offer a prize to the week's winner, of a Ballhype t-shirt. I've spread the love around, giving away three to colleagues, and of course, making sure my wife and I have our own. Pretty soon, with continued luck, I'll have to start picking new styles, selling the much-coveted shirts on eBay, or helping clothe the homeless. But the one thing I won't be doing is stopping my picks. Given that Joski's got 7 wins to his credit, and I only have 5, you better believe I'm going to keep trying until I've got the all-time record. For some reason, I'm just competitive that way, even in a very virtual contest.