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How we dole out the money is really quite simple...

By PAT McDONELL
WON Staff Writer

The biggest question we get, as staffers of the Tuna Jackpot, is how the daily optional jackpots work and how the money is paid out.

"I mean, how do you win?" is a common question, which means, there's total confusion.

Indeed, it can look a little confusing at first, so for those who are not familiar with jackpot tournaments with optional daily payouts, here's a quick primer in case you end up in the winner's circle.

Cash/Prize Payouts
The basic team entry fee (teams can consist of up to 4 anglers and 2 crewmen) is $700, with two days of five optional daily jackpots totalling $500, $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 and $5,000. The total amount for a team paying into all optional jackpots is $12,200. Remember, these are optional jackpots. You can enter none, or one, or some of them, or all of them.

The payback to anglers
There is $400 payback on the $700 entry fee and there's an 80 percent payback on all daily jackpots. Of the total amount available, $300 of the $700 Overall Jackpot entry fee and 20 percent of the optional money goes to Western Outdoors Publications.

What exactly can you win? It all depends, of course, on the number of teams and how many paid into the optional jackpots. This is how it breaks down:

The team/captain that catches the biggest tuna over two days wins 85 percent of the total cash available in the overall pool among all teams. If 200 teams enter at $700, as expected, that cash total will be $80,000. That's $400X200teams=$80,000. This year, just as the last three years, framed color certificates with the boat name and angler's name will be handed out to each team member on teams that win cash. The team/captain that catches the second largest tuna wins 10 percent of the Overall Jackpot cash. Third biggest tuna over two days wins earns 5 percent.

Now we go to the optionals. It's where the bigger money is won. Each day is a new day to win. The biggest tuna caught.

In optional jackpots, the winning team takes all cash in the pot that day. There's two days of optionals. If the boat has been chartered, the charter captain will be paid out 10 percent of the winnings. No prizes will be given. For wahoo or dorado, G. Loomis rods and Shimano reels are awarded to members of one team weighing in the biggest wahoo or dorado (first place only) over the two days.

And if you don't win cash, there's the $150,000 in prizes given away in free drawings, plus the giveaways for each team when they sign in.

Remember, you are subject to Mexican income taxes, which will be deducted from your team's total amount.