Tui Catch-A-Million competition gets major rule change

Tui Catch-A-Million punters try to catch a six with one hand.
Tui Catch-A-Million punters try to catch a six with one hand. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has issued a series of revisions to the hugely popular Tui Catch-A-Million promotion at Blackcaps games, making it significantly harder for punters to win the promised cash prize of $50,000.

The competition has not garnered a single winner so far this summer, despite three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches against the West Indies having been played.

And now it's about to get even tougher to win, with NZC and Tui Breweries announcing new safety precautions in response to a handful of dangerous incidents and criticism about the promotion from former Blackcaps.

The competition has historically promised a cash prize to anyone over 18 who can take a clean one-handed catch of a six while wearing a special Tui Catch-A-Million-branded T-shirt.

Nearly $1 million has been won by nine catchers in the competition's history under those simple rules, since it began in 2014.

The changes, which will come into effect from the Blackcaps first ODI against Pakistan on Saturday, will see the establishment of a designated 'catch zone' for those competing for the prize.

If a ball is caught outside that zone at any T20 or ODI venue, it will not count.

The catch zone will not be instated at Auckland's Eden Park or Wellington's Westpac Stadium, presumably because designated seating at those venues makes it less likely for fans to carry out dangerous manoeuvres to catch the ball.

In addition, any "unruly behaviour or behaviour which risks injury, including diving", will immediately disqualify punters from winning the $50,000.

Tui and NZC say the new protocols have been introduced "in the interests of crowd safety and improved fan experience".