Legal Trickery – Eric A. Parzianello

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On Twitter Bets, NCAA Upsets and “Manning Up”

Posted by Eric Parzianello on March 24, 2014

Is a one-sided bet enforceable?  NFL player Roddy White doesn’t think so.  Before last week’s first round NCAA game between 3rd seeded Duke and 14th seeded Mercer, White tweeted to a Mercer fan that he’d give him 50 yard-line first row season tickets if Mercer beat Duke.  Mercer, a 13 point underdog, upset Duke 78-71.

White went back to Twitter to say he’d only give him tickets to one game.  After getting roasted in the Twitter-verse, White tweeted:  “Y’all people are crazy on twitter you want me to man up and pay a bet to a person that had nothing to lose in the bet “.  Screenshots of the Twitter exchange can be found here.

Aside from the fact that, yes, he should “man up” after tweeting an unprovoked bet to a Mercer fan, White is legally correct.  For an enforceable agreement to exist, there must be consideration: something of value given by both parties that induces them to enter into an agreement.  Without consideration, there’s no contract here unless the Mercer fan did something in reliance on White’s statement.

Regardless, the lesson here is to shut up unless you’re ready to “man up.”

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