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Thursday, June 20, 2024

CWS Jell-O Shot Challenge: Everything You Need to Know

  • Rocco's Pizza and Cantina did 42% of their yearly revenue from the 14-day challenge in 2022.
  • LSU set an all-time record last year, topping the whiteboard with 68,888 shots.
General view of the stadium during the game between the LSU Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Last June, the 2023 College World Series averaged 1.65 million viewers, up 48% from 2022.  More than 392,000 fans descended on Omaha for the 16-game tournament, marking three straight years of record-breaking attendance.

The CWS has been a tradition in Omaha since 1950.  For two weeks in June, Nebraska’s most populous city is the capital of the college baseball world.

But there’s another tradition that’s been gaining steam alongside the tournament since 2018.

What is the College World Series Jell-O Shot Challenge?

The College World Series Jell-O Shot Challenge originated 50 steps across the street from the field, at a sports bar called Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina.

Per ESPN: “Fan bases from the eight teams in the MCWS compete over who can ingest the most shots, which are color-coded for each squad.”

The leaderboard is tracked the old fashioned way, with colored dry erase markers on a whiteboard. And with each team’s fan base eager to drive up the tally, the challenge does wonders for the bar’s bottom line.

In 2022, Rocco’s co-owner Kevin Culjat said that the bar did 42% of its total yearly revenue during the 14 days of the College World Series.

“It’s a monster deal, no doubt about it.”

For every shot sold, the bar donates $1 to the shot-drinking university’s food bank and another 50 cents to Heartland Food Bank in Omaha.

“Food insecurity bothers me a lot,” Culjat told GQ.

“Coming off of COVID, when I almost lost everything, that was a really horrible feeling. And I can’t imagine what it is like for somebody to go home every day and wonder what they’re going to eat or how they’re going to feed their family. So when I found out how much the universities are doing not only for the students, but for the folks who work there, who struggled, I thought: this is our cause.”

Year-By-Year Records

A different school has taken the crown every year since the challenge’s inception.  LSU set an all-time record last year, topping the whiteboard with 68,888 shots.

  • 2023: LSU (68,888 shots)
  • 2022: Ole Miss (18,777 shots)
  • 2021: Mississippi State (3,000 shots)
  • 2019: Arkansas (868 shots)

2024 CWS Jell-O Shot Leaderboard Updates

Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina keeps fans up to date on the leaderboard via social media.

Follow their timeline below for updates on the 2024 CWS Jell-O Shot challenge.

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