Michael Olikus wins October Streak for the Cash prize

By Jason Gilbert
ESPN.com
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The October monthly prize winner for ESPN's Streak for the Cash is Michael Olikus of Fountain Hills, Ariz. Michael had 62 correct picks in only 31 days!

Winner

Michael Olikus selected 62 games correctly throughout October to win the $2,500 prize.

Michael, or louye1128 as he is known to fellow Streakers, is now retired after working many years on Wall Street. Michael credits his wins to his knowledge of a variety of sports and his newfound spare time, which he uses to research matchups on the Streak board.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Olikus has been a die-hard Mets fan from the start and has "always found them exciting to follow and still love them even though they break my heart more often then not." He is also a big football fan, both college and pro, as well as being a fan of PGA golfer Phil Mickelson.

"Streak for the Cash" was the first fantasy game Olikus has played, but with the fun and excitement he received from this game, he now plays Pigskin Pick 'em, Gridiron Challenge and College Pick 'em.

During his run at $2,500, Olikus reached winning streaks of seven games on three separate occasions, and his longest losing streak was a mere four-game slide. His strategy was to pick the team or player who he thought had the best chance to win rather then to let his personal feelings get involved in the picking process. If he had no knowledge of the teams or sport, he did some research on a team's record and standings. But, at some points in the game he made picks on just a "hunch."

Monthly Leaders: October 2008
RNK ENTRY CITY, STATE WINS
1 louye1128* Fountain Hills, AZ 62
2 Thunderdome Peoria, IL 59
T3 mforda831 Phoenix, AZ 58
T3 JudyT613613 Richmond, KY 58
T3 BlueMoonWolf Coraopolis, PA 58
6 SAMMALACHI Canonsburg, PA 57
View Leaderboard
* - Monthly winners receive $2500

"I knew I had to make a selection for every single opportunity. Being retired and less active then I would like, this game gave me something to focus on each day. Towards the end it got very exciting, maybe even too exciting," said Olikus.

"Towards the end of the month, I was only a few games behind and thought, I might have a shot at this. I was actually more nervous playing in the lead than trying to come back from behind," Olikus added.

During the final days Olikus refused to look at the standings and just made the picks he wanted to make rather than taking the "safe pick."

"I never looked at the leaderboard until the third pick in the last day," he said. "I realized the person directly behind me had different picks than me in most of our last picks."

Congratulations to Michael Olikus on a well-deserved victory and thank you all for participating in ESPN's Streak for the Cash. Michael hopes to see you all again on the November leaderboard!

Also see: Debbie Payton wins September

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