When we think about big-money sports, we often think of football players earning a bucket load every month - or F1 drivers famously rich. We don’t often think about darts players, right? But does that mean there’s not a decent amount of money in the sport?
Well, actually, there is. There is certainly a lot of money floating around. It’s not just those partaking in darts betting that could stand to win some big money, but the players that take home the big titles will also enjoy some decent rewards.
So, let’s take a look at all those players who managed to earn enough money not just to buy a pint… but to buy the whole pub!
One player who is certainly rolling in it is Michael Smith. He enjoyed his first tournament win at the PDC World Championship and not only earned the title of the No. 1 ranked player in the world but was paid £500,000 for the privilege. The win also elevated the 32-year-old player to Number 1 in the PDC order of merit. Over the past 24 months, he has accumulated £1.24 million in prize money. Not too bad, right?
It comes as little surprise to find out that the half-a-million pound prize pot on offer for the PDC World Championship winner, held annually at Alexandra Palace, is the biggest prize of all darts tournaments, the cherry on the pie.
In fact, this is almost twice as much as the winner of the Premier League Darts tournament would get, which has a top prize of £275,000 - and five times more than its rival, the WDF World Darts Championship (the replacement of the former BDO event).
The prize money scooped by Smith in the PDC World Championship is the same as the equivalent tournament in snooker. This was the amount that Ronnie O’Sullivan walked away with when he won his seventh World Snooker Championship last year.
They may get a pretty nice payout, but it still doesn’t stack up to some other major sports.
Players who win the major tennis Grand Slams often take home over £2 million - and there are four every year… so if one player has a particularly good year, that’s a pretty nice pay packet.
The biggest paying tennis tournament is the US Open, which has a top prize of £2.2 million - for both the men’s and women’s winners.
Not too far behind is Wimbledon, which pays out £2 million to both the winners of the men’s and women’s singles.
However, we have golf… which is even bigger, surprisingly! Every one of the four men’s majors pays out over £2 million to the winner. So, successful golfers are rolling in it. For example, Rory McIlroy, who won the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship, is worth over £16 million.
These payouts look set to get even bigger for those big-name players with competition from the LIV Gold circuit, backed by Saudi Arabia, which was launched last year. Every event in the LIV Golf competition will be worth around $4 million for the winner - with the most successful player of the year getting an extra $18 million (£16 million). In fact, former Number 1 player Dustin Johnson walked away with prize money worth more than $35 million from playing only 7 LIVE Golf Tour events last year. Wow!
So, there we have it. Dart players don’t do too badly, considering many people consider it a ‘pub’ sport - and they get paid equally as well as that other popular ‘pub’ sport, snooker. However, it’s a small fry compared to other major sports. Want some really big money? Either practise your forehand and backhand or hit the green and try for a hole-in-one. Or you could just bet on the big players and try to get your winnings by putting your faith in someone else’s skill.