About Last Man

[WELCOME, NEWCOMERS! If you’re just discovering Last Man, via 538 or elsewhere, here are a few links to get you started in learning more about this weird, quirky, nerdy (but not judgy or sanctimonious, we swear; many of us are sports fans!), fun game:

Last Man FAQ
Last Man Blog
Last Man in the New Yorker
Last Man on the TLDR podcast
Last Man on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Man contestant in Boulder, CO lasts 7+ days (!)

Oh, and if you want to play next year? Here’s how.]

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“Last Man in America to Know Who Won the Super Bowl,” better known as Last Man or #lastman, is an annual game played in the hours and days — and sometimes weeks, months, or even (very rarely) years — after the NFL’s championship game.

Contestants, called “Knowledge Runners,” seek to avoid, for as long as possible, learning “The Knowledge” — the outcome of the Super Bowl.

You may have read about Last Man in the New Yorker, or heard a podcast about it, or learned of it via some other article. If you want to play Last Man, here’s a step-by-step guide

To learn more about this fun, silly, challenging, light-hearted game, please read the rules and the FAQ, and peruse the other pages on this website.

For the latest news, see the Last Man blog, and the #lastman hashtag on Twitter.


A bit of background information…

Last Man was invented and popularized by Kyle Whelliston, formerly the owner and operator of The Mid-Majority, a website about college basketball. In recent years, fans of Last Man have increasingly begun playing the game themselves.

In January 2014, Kyle declared that Last Man “belongs to the people now.” In response, a group of Last Man fans created the “Twitter #Lastman League,” to organize and promote the game, and to tweak and clarify the rules. This is the league’s website.

The complete rules of Last Man and the #Lastman League are here. Arguably the most crucial rules are as follows:

  • The object of the game is to avoid, for as long as possible, learning either a) the winner or b) the final score of the Super Bowl.  This data is called The Knowledge.
  • You are eliminated from the game when you Know.
  • Always play honestly.
  • Nobody ever wins.  It’s a game you play against yourself, so it always ends in a loss, eventually.
  • Anyone in America who is a fan of American sports, and/or who would reasonably expect to hear about the Super Bowl if they weren’t trying to avoid it, is eligible to play.
  • Contestants must announce on Twitter, using the hashtag #lastman, that they are participating. This must be done before the Super Bowl (or within 24 hours after it ends).
  • Contestants are also asked to tweet updates on their Last Man status at least every 72 hours while they’re still alive, and of course also tweet their “death” after they lose, including when they lost and the “cause of death” (i.e., how they obtained The Knowledge).

Again, click here for the complete rules.  And click here for more instructions on how to join the game.

Other sections of this website include the history of Last Man, with links to prior years’ liveblogs and tweet archives; links to media coverage of Last Man; milestones of the game; a list of various causes of “death” (elimination); and a Frequently Asked Questions page.

Good luck, Knowledge Runners!


6 thoughts on “About Last Man”

  1. I didn’t even know the Super Bowl was today (or this week…. or this month) until I saw the Curious.Com link to your website just now. I think I have a good chance.

  2. It’s February 23 and I don’t know who won the Super Bowl. I’d say that qualifies me for something special. Since this is a game against myself, I will award myself a pastrami sandwich on dark rye at the next available opportunity. O to be in Chicago and within walking distance of Fumare Meats and Deli in the French Market.

    Great job, Dave. Do it again next year, as you have done for so many years now.

  3. Human beings are not important in themselves. Their significance lies in them maintaining a repository of stored knowledge which will be useful as a starting point for the
    post-biological life forms which replace us.

    So do not be proud of your ignorance. All you need to do is wait for death, and then you will be as totally ignorant as stones and water, and slightly more ignorant than a virus.

  4. Not only do I still don’t I know who won the Superbowl, I didn’t even know there was a contest about it.

    I do have a Twitter account, but I stopped using it because I was tired of hearing every time someone grabbed a latte. And, I’m sure most people aren’t too interested in my latte acquisition status.

    P.S., As a bonus, I don’t know what ads ran on the Super Bowl. Or, if the world has ended. I do know about Donald Trump though — and that’s definitely one case where ignorance would really be bliss.

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