How To Run Your World Cup Sweepstake In 2022

World cup sweepstake 2022

With kick off fast approaching on November 20th, it’s time to sign up your friends and colleagues for this year’s hotly anticipated World Cup sweepstake! Sweepstakes are a great way to generate even more excitement for the best tournament on Earth. They are not only guaranteed to get banter going in offices, pubs and sitting rooms up and down the country. Running a sweepstake also sparks interest for non-football fans by giving them a team to cheer for! 

The question is, what is the best way to run your World Cup sweepstake?

Sweepstake guide contents What is a sweepstake? | When is the World Cup? | Sweepstake template | How to set up your sweepstake | Sweepstake prizes | List of teams | Alternative sweepstakes

What is a World Cup sweepstake?

New to the wonderful world of sweepstakes? In a traditional World Cup sweepstake, the names of the 32 finalist nations are put into a hat. Friends, family or work colleagues then pick these out at random before the tournament begins. Participants pay a sum of money for each team they take out of the hat.

The person who picks out the eventual World Cup winner wins the accumulated prize money. It’s a simple lottery, which gives World Cup viewers another team to cheer on and adds a bit of competitive fun as the tournament progresses.

There are also variations of the sweepstake format, where you could offer consolation prizes to participants – e.g to the person who picked out the tournament runners up or the person who had the worst performing team.

When is the World Cup?

The 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar between Sunday 20th November and Sunday 18th December. It’s the first time it has been held in the run up to Christmas and outside of the summer months.

The group stage of the tournament will kick off on Sunday 20th November with the hosts, Qatar, lining up against Ecuador. The knockout phase starts on 3rd December, culminating in the final on Sunday 18th December.

World Cup Sweepstake Template

Traditionally speaking, team names are cut out and placed into a hat (although in reality, an actual hat is never usually the container of choice).

If you’re staying traditional, you can print off, cut out and fold up the teams in this template. However, in the spirit of World Cup firsts, we created this spreadsheet. On this Google sheet, you can type in the names of people taking part in your sweepstake.

Next, simply upload it to our Football Flag Sweepstake Baubles page and we’ll print participant names onto corresponding flag baubles. It’s a unique way of getting your sweepstake on display as the Christmas decorations go up in late November and early December.

Sweepstake flag baubles

How to set up your World Cup sweepstake?

1) Lay out the rules and make all participants aware of:

  • How much it costs to pick each team out of the sweepstake (typically £2, £5 or £10)
  • How many teams each person is allowed to pick out
  • What the potential prize money will be

2) Sign up the players and collect prize money 

The money collected from the sale of sweepstake tickets makes up “the pot”. The value of this pot is used to pay the prize money to winners when the tournament finishes. So long as you’re clear with the participants, you can also use some of the pot to reimburse you for any materials you’ve used to create the sweepstake (such as the flag baubles).

3) Keep track of the draw

Participants may want to keep hold of their sweepstake tickets so they can remember which team they pulled out of the hat. It’s also a good idea to keep a central list of who picked which team. That way there can be no arguments four weeks later over who had the winners.

Sweepstakes for smaller groups

Running a sweepstake for more than 20 people? Then it is usually as straight forward as each person picking out one or two teams. It can be more complicated for smaller groups of colleagues or friends. We’ve listed a few different ways you can arrange the draw. (Image credit: Historyofsoccer).

World cup trophy and pitch

Include the best teams only

World Cups may offer us great entertainment, but they very rarely serve up a big surprise when it comes to the tournament winner. You could therefore simply use our seeded list to include just the best 8 or 16 teams in the tournament, which are most likely to win the 2022 title.

In the unlikely event the likes of Morocco pull of a miracle or Australia goes above and beyond, you can simply award the prize to the team who got the furthest in the tournament.

Pick several teams each and lower the ticket cost

Another solution for smaller groups is to use all 32 teams in the sweepstake - but simply pick more of them out. Each participant could have 3 or 4 teams each. The fewer people you have though, the more you may wish to lower the cost of each team.

Buying five teams at £10 a pop could become quite an investment, whereas £2 or £5 per team would be much more sensible.

Pick from several different pots

To avoid one participant getting too many of the good teams, you can split the 32 countries into 3 or 4 seeded pots. Each participant then gets to pick from each pot. This ensures everyone gets their fair share of good teams, mediocre teams and the relatively rubbish ones too (no offence Costa Rica).

World Cup Sweepstake prize ideas

1) The winner takes it all

Quite simply, there can only be one winner. It’s the person fortunate enough to have picked out the champions of the 2022 World Cup, when the draw was made. That means they’ll get £160 if everyone paid £5 a ticket or £320 if tickets were priced at £10.

2) Gold, Silver and Bronze

Sweepstakes more commonly offer three prizes to keep more participants interested for longer. In a gold, silver and bronze model at £10 per team, you could offer the following prize money.

  • The winning team gets £150
  • The runner up team gets £100
  • The third placed team gets £70

3) Gold, Silver and…Wooden Spoon

It can be really disappointing for participants if they only pick out poorly ranked teams from the draw. The gold, silver and wooden spoon sweepstake model awards the person with the team who statistically performed the worst in the World Cup.

  • The winning team gets £150
  • The runner up team gets £100
  • The worst team in the tournaments gets the wooden spoon prize of £70

Christmas angel holds yellow card

4) Hybrid sweepstake

You could get even more creative with your prize allocation by introducing another booby prize. Examples could be the most yellow cards or the team that has the golden boot winner in it.

  • The winning team gets £150
  • The runner up team gets £100
  • The worst team in the tournaments gets the wooden spoon prize of £40
  • The least disciplined team gets £30

List of World Cup teams for sweepstake

There are 32 teams taking part in the World Cup finals in Qatar. These include the mighty home nations of England and Wales, and the even mightier Brazil, Argentina and France (these are the bookie’s top three picks for the tournament winner).

All World Cup teams

In the group stage phase of the tournament, every team plays three games against the opponents in their group. Sixteen teams then progress to the knockout phase, with a round of 16, quarter final, semi-final and final. There’s also a 3rd/4th play place off match held between the beaten semi-finalists.

Group A Group B Group C Group D Group E Group F Group G Group H
Group AQatar Group BEngland Group CArgentina Group DFrance Group ESpain Group FBelgium Group GBrazil Group HPortugal
Group AEcuador Group BIran Group CSaudi Arabia Group DAustralia Group ECosta Rica Group FCanada Group GSerbia Group HGhana
Group ASenegal Group BUSA Group CMexico Group DDenmark Group EGermany Group FMorocco Group GSwitzerland Group HUruguay
Group ANetherlands Group BWales Group CPoland Group DTunisia Group EJapan Group FCroatia Group GCameroon Group HSouth Korea


Seeded list of teams

Only eight different teams have ever won the World Cup tournament, which has been held 21 times since 1930. It’s no surprise some teams are favoured much more than others when it comes to a predicted champion.

The biggest whoops of joy will be for those who pick Brazil out of the hat. Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times. The current holders, France, will also be a hot favourite. Meanwhile, England are considered the fourth most likely team to clinch victory in Qatar.

The biggest sighs of dismay will come from those who are allocated Saudi Arabia or Costa Rica in the sweepstake. Costa Rica has failed to win their last six World Cup games and Saudi Arabia has won just three of their past 16 World Cup matches.

Here are the 32 participating nations in Qatar, organised into a seeded list of the bookmakers favourites.

Team (ranking)
Team (ranking)Brazil (1st) Team (ranking)Poland (17th)
Team (ranking)France (2nd) Team (ranking)USA (18th)
Team (ranking)Argentina (3rd) Team (ranking)Wales (19th)
Team (ranking)England (4th) Team (ranking)Ecuador (20th)
Team (ranking)Spain (5th) Team (ranking)Cameroon (21st)
Team (ranking)Germany (6th) Team (ranking)Qatar (22nd)
Team (ranking)Netherlands (7th) Team (ranking)Ghana (23rd)
Team (ranking)Portugal (8th) Team (ranking)Morocco (24th)
Team (ranking)Belgium (9th) Team (ranking)Japan (25th)
Team (ranking)Denmark (10th) Team (ranking)South Korea (26th)
Team (ranking)Croatia (11th) Team (ranking)Canada (27th)
Team (ranking)Uruguay (12th) Team (ranking)Australia (28th)
Team (ranking)Senegal (13th) Team (ranking)Iran (29th)
Team (ranking)Serbia (14th) Team (ranking)Tunisia (30th)
Team (ranking)Switzerland (15th) Team (ranking)Saudi Arabia (31st)
Team (ranking)Mexico (16th) Team (ranking)Costa Rica (32nd)


Alternative World Cup Sweepstakes

For the first time ever, the World Cup finals will be coinciding with the festive period. To celebrate this, we created our Sweepstake Flag Baubles. These allow you to combine the excitement of Christmas with the thrill of a World Cup sweepstake.

Better still, you don’t have to be out of pocket as the organiser. You can reimburse yourself for the cost of the baubles using a portion of the sweepstake prize pot (so long as you make the participants aware).

Sweepstake flag baubles

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