When paint instructor Bob Ross said, “we don’t make mistakes; we have happy accidents,” he was referencing Darrett Pullins, who won the $200,000 grand prize during the Opening Day Pick’ Em contest by Loan Depot as he predicted every opening day game correctly.
Pullins, a 58-year-old Professor from Michigan, was on the verge of submitting his picks, but his computer malfunctioned, erasing his original choices.
With some last-second changes, he maneuvered two of his hometown selections with his second opportunity. He ended up going perfect from the field of play as he predicted all 13 games correctly.
He told the cast of MLB Central, “It’s funny because my original picks on the computer, I lost them, and then I had to go back and re-pick everything as I originally had the New York Yankees to win and the Detroit Tigers to lose.” He added, “I went back and changed that, and the rest is history.”
Pullins grew up a Reggie Jackson fan. Due to close proximity to the old Yankee Stadium, he could always tell before the television broadcast when a hard-hit ball landed in the stands due to the crowd’s roar like it did in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series when Mr. October went yard three times.
“Born & raised in The Bronx, I am always going to be a Yankee person,” Pullins said. ” I’m in Detroit now, but when the Yankees are in town, it’s New York all the way, but it was one of those things at the last moment something told me to switch my pick, so I switched it.”
It had to be difficult to pick against your childhood team, especially after looking at a potentially dangerous Yankees lineup that features Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Still, he didn’t gamble with his heart as most risk takers do. He bet with his head, and it paid off.
After picking all 13 slated games correctly, the tiebreaker question asked all contestants to guess the number of home runs for that specific day as other participants finished perfectly as well. Pullins in Price Is Right-like fashion came closest to the numerical digit and was considered the winner.
When asked how he came up with the unspecified number, Pullins said, “A little birdie told me to pick this number. There was no strategy. There was no logic to it. I wish I could say it was a strategy, but I just got lucky.”
Pullins said he hadn’t spent any of his earnings yet. He is still deciding on how to pay off some debts he accumulated throughout the years while also searching to give back to students with some sort of scholarship in his name at the local college he currently teaches.