People laughed. “When we announced the $10,000 grand prize, it was so distant from anything else people had done that no one believed it would happen.” Beer pong was the Big Game on Campus, sure, but would adults pay money to throw balls at cups of light beer in a convention center 80 arid miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip?
Of course, the answer was yes. Eighty-three teams registered for WSOBP 1. About 280 registered for the same event next year. At its peak in 2009, that number exceeded 500. Lawyers, bums, wives, college kids -- everybody wanted to see if their skills could go the distance.
Gaines estimates that his company has handed out “over half a million dollars” in prize money to date, as well as sold $100,000 in branded tables, cups, and other merchandise. In 2010, Forbes cited the website’s annual revenue at $3 million.