Having the football on TV was a welcome distraction for Michael Middleton.
Mr Middleton won The Border Mail's AFL footy tipping competition, with a total of 111, four clear of his nearest rival Trent Crothers.
The owner-operator of Elders Insurance Wodonga and Murray Goulburn picked just three from nine games in the finals, but held on.
This season was like no other, with the competition played outside Victoria for the majority of the year and a compacted fixture meant little time between rounds.
"My usual strategy is to tip the home teams as often as possible, but this year most of them weren't at home. That's probably why I did alright," Mr Middleton laughed.
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The Essendon supporter said his beloved Bombers helped him early, winning four of their first five games and they delivered again late.
"The game where they beat Hawthorn in Adelaide (in round 14), everyone else tipped Hawthorn and I went for Essendon," he said.
"They were getting flogged, but Joe Daniher played a really good game in the second half and they got up.
"When Adelaide won (in round 15), no-one expected it but I thought they were going to win a game sooner or later, so that helped me as well because other people didn't pick them against Hawthorn.
"Hawthorn were good to me, they lost a couple they should have won."
Mr Middleton won a signed 2019 Richmond guernsey, donated by AFL North East Border, and thanked Border Mail staff for running the competition.
Mr Crothers was second on 107, with Marc Duryea third on 105.