A betting pool, sports lottery, sweep or office pool if done at work, is a form of gambling, specifically a variant of parimutuel betting influenced by lotteries, where gamblers pay a fixed price into a pool from which taxes and a house take or vig are removed, and then make a selection on some outcome, usually related to sport. In an informal game, the vig is usually quite small or non-existent. The pool is evenly divided between those that have made the correct selection. There are no odds involved; each winner’s payoff depends simply on the number of gamblers and the number of winners. True parimutuel betting, which was historically referred to as pool betting, involves both odds calculations and variable wager amounts.
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Contestants predict the outcome of sporting events that take place at a later time. The concept was introduced in 1923 by Littlewoods Pools where it was known as totoclarification needed and based on football soccer matches. Today in England, sports lotteries are more commonly referred to as football pools. American sports lotteries often do not require contestants to purchase a lottery ticket or make an initial wager. Hockey pools are common in North America, and footy tipping in Australia.