Kevin Engellant wins November $400,000 grand prize

Kevin Engellant

Engellant's W34 was good for $400,000 in November.

Name: Kevin Engellant (kengellant86)
Age: 45
Current City: Dillon, MT
Winning Streak: W34, overall 44-16-0 (.733)
How won: Streak of 34 set a record and finished two ahead of the next best.

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Winner's Questionnaire

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Hometown: Dillon, MT
Occupation: Business Instructor at University of Montana Western
Which sports do you play: Golf and basketball
Favorite sports to watch: College basketball, college football, NFL, golf, NBA
Favorite teams: Montana Western Bulldogs, Utah Jazz, Drexel Dragons
Favorite athletes: Dr. J., Michael Jordan
Greatest sports moments (playing): In 1990, when my college team, Western Montana College defeated the #1 team in the country at the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Greatest sports moments (watching): Watching my stepson, and the Dillon Beavers win the state championship in both football and basketball his senior year. Helping coach my stepdaughter's high school basketball team, the Dillon Lady Beavers, to a Divisional Basketball Championship as the #5 seed in the conference.
Favorite Bands: Journey, Phil Collins, Van Halen, Def Leppard
Favorite Movies: Fletch, Hoosiers
Favorite TV Shows: Sportscenter, 30 for 30, Family Feud
Favorite Books: Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success, Dream Team
Favorite Video Games: None
Favorite Websites: ESPN, USA Today
Favorite ESPN Personality: Chris Berman

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What was going through your mind once you realized you had won the November Stash worth $400,000?

I was in my bedroom by myself watching the Drexel-Alabama basketball game, and the rest of my family was in the living room watching the game. My 7 year old son, Kyler was leading the cheers for Drexel. When the final buzzer sounded and I knew I had won I ran to the living room to give my wife, Roxanne and the rest of my family a hug. Everyone in my family was cheering, hollering, jumping around, and there were lots of hugs! It was such a surreal feeling to know that I had won and it was finally over!

This month was one of the wildest ones we have seen. How did you go about choosing your picks while so many high streaks were in play?

I didn't want to get tentative and stop picking. My plan was if there was a pick that I really liked that I shouldn't get hesitant and not pick. Even though I knew there were several people right behind me, I tried not worry too much about them. I really tried to focus on my picks and to "play to win".

Could you take us through the final week of November? Did you pay attention to the other leaders and how big of a streak did you think it would take to win?

When the Lakers beat the Kings, and I took the lead, I knew the month was far from over. With 6 days to go in the month, I knew a lot could happen and that it was going to take more than a W29 to win the month. I was paying some attention to the others on the leaderboard and I was hoping I could stay a few picks ahead. By staying a few picks ahead of the others, I was hoping I might force them into taking some chances on their picks.

Your streak of W34 was the highest we've ever had, what does it mean to you to have that record?

It is still hard for me to believe that I achieved a W34. I've been playing Streak for the Cash for 5 years, and there have been many months that I have a hard time getting to a W5. I know how difficult this game can be, so to attain a W34 is truly unbelievable! I had plenty of lucky breaks and things go my way during my streak, which you definitely need to achieve any significant streak.

When you passed the original W28, how confident were you that you would win the Streak Stash?

It felt good to be in the lead, but at no point during the month did I have complete confidence that I would win. The only time I was confident I would win was when the final buzzer sounded at the end of triple overtime and Drexel had won. With sports, anything can happen, and this month was no exception, as there were many miraculous endings!

Was there any particular match during your streak that made you more nervous than any other?

Obviously the Drexel-Alabama game was very nerve-racking. It was a very fitting way for the month to end, with so much at stake and the game going into triple overtime. The Auburn-Georgia football game is another one that I will never forget. Auburn let a 20 point 4th quarter lead slip away, trailed by 1, and faced a 4th and 18 on their own 27 yard line with 36 seconds remaining. I remember my son 7-year old son Kyler, yelling at me, "Dad why did you pick this game?" I told him, "It's not over yet" (even though I really did think it was over). Auburn then completed the improbable, 78-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass that was deflected, to win the game and keep my streak alive. The Knicks-Pacer game was another an unbelievable ending. I had picked the Pacers and they were down 3 points, late in regulation and Paul George got fouled shooting a 3 pointer with 4 seconds left. He made all 3 free throws, the Knicks missed at the buzzer and the Pacers won in overtime. These were just three of the many memorable and magical games that I won during my 34 game win streak.

What was your strategy in making picks? Did anyone else help you make them?

As my streak continued to climb, I put more time into researching the games and deciding what picks to make. I focused on picking home teams that were favored. I also really focused on sports that I am more familiar with—college basketball, NBA, college football and NFL. Towards the end of the month as each pick became for important and more stressful, I did consult with some of my friends in the group to get their advice, but ultimately the picks were mine.

What initially got you into playing Streak for the Cash?

I was listening to ESPN radio in December of 2008, and I heard the story of the gentleman from Florida that won a million dollars on Streak for the Cash by achieving a W25 on the Pittsburgh-Dallas game. I started playing Streak for the Cash the next day and began to tell my friends about the Streak. A few of us in Dillon played for about a year before we decided to create our own group, Lion's Den-Dillon.

What do you plan on using the money towards?

My first priority is to make sure my kids' college expenses are taken care of. I also plan on donating to a few non-profits in my community. My wife, Roxanne, and I have several improvements on our house we would like to make. Invest the rest.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I want to thank ESPN, and Progressive for sponsoring Streak for Cash. It's a brilliant idea and a great game that I've really enjoying playing over the past five years!

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