Revealing a Dart Player’s Income: Millionaire Luxury or Modest Living?

Updated: 5556 Darts

Exclusive insight into a dart player's earnings. Revealing whether it promises a luxurious life, lends enough to stay afloat, or barely covers expenses, and breaking down how prize money and sponsorships contribute to their earnings.

Revealing a Dart Player’s Income: Millionaire Luxury or Modest Living?
Matthew Edgar Darts Editor and WDF Professional

Former PDC Darts Professional, SkySports Darts Commentator and YouTuber with 6 tournament wins under his belt including the Iceland Open in 2023

Is Darts An Affordable Sporting Career?

Ever wondered about the earnings of darts players and whether the top stars in this game are living the millionaires' life of luxury? In this article, PDC Darts professional Matthew Edgar pulls back the curtain, providing an up-close and personal account of a darts player's financial reality. Prepare to uncover if the darts field is genuinely a path to affluence or simply an affordable career choice. Let's dive right in and dispel some myths!

🎯How much do darts players really earn?

Is it a millionaire's game or just an affordable career choice? 💵😲 Dive into the truths behind darts prize money💰

New PDC Announcement 11th September Will Make Things Even More Difficult

The 2024 PDC agenda unveils a bustling schedule with over 170 days of darts competitions spread across the globe, featuring visits to new locations and all midweek Players Championship matches as the major attractions of the forthcoming year. 

PDC

In a first, the PDC European Tour will embark on Switzerland next year. The tour stages 13 three-day events across an unprecedented seven countries from February to October 2024, and adds a brand new tournament in Antwerp to its lineup, reflecting the burgeoning interest in darts within Belgium. 

2024 brings another first when it comes to the Players Championship matches. All 30 events will be held on midweek dates in cities such as Wigan, Leicester, Hildesheim, and Milton Keynes.

EdgarTV View of the changes

How Much Can Darts Players Earn?

After recently researching whether snooker was an affordable career for those wanting to win World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, we thought it may make sense to make a similar case for those men and women who dare to step to the oche.

With the pinnacle of any darts season being its own World Championships – one that is held at the famous Alexandra Palace in London, this is where the biggest prize pot of the year can be won and what better way to celebrate a new 12 months than by earning a hefty sum of money at the start.

 The showpiece event of the year and the highest prize money on offer at any stage, The PDC World Championship -
By TWsk - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85102750

While hefty can be measured in pounds, £500,000 to be precise. That is the figure that is afforded to the winner of the darts’ showpiece event and the last person to receive this financial freedom was Michael Smith in 2023. 

Then again, not everyone can be proud enough to call themselves as the best darts player in the world and although the winner picks up a cool half million pounds for their efforts, a first round departee will only earn £7,500 by comparison. 

Tournament Total Champion Runner-up Semi-finalists Top 8 Top 16 Top 32 Top 64 Top 96 Top 128
Televised Ranking Events                    
World Championship £2,500,000 £500,000 £200,000 £100,000 £50,000 £35,000 £25,000 £15,000 £7,500
UK Open £600,000 £110,000 £50,000 £30,000 £15,000 £10,000 £5,000 £2,500 £1,500 £1,000
World Matchplay £800,000 £200,000 £100,000 £50,000 £30,000 £15,000 £10,000    
World Grand Prix £600,000 £130,000 £60,000 £30,000 £20,000 £12,500 £7,500    
European Championship £500,000 £120,000 £60,000 £32,000 £20,000 £10,000 £6,000    
Grand Slam of Darts £650,000 £150,000 £70,000 £50,000 £25,000 £12,250 £5,000    
Players Championship Finals £500,000 £100,000 £50,000 £25,000 £15,000 £10,000 £5,000 £2,500  
PDC Pro Tour                    
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To get a better idea of potential earnings, here is the breakdown of the major ranking television events and PDC Pro Tour events and the prize money that is afforded. Everyone wants the biggest prizes on offer, some may have to be happy with whatever they can earn along the way.

Of course, the subject of earnings is vitally important to any man or woman who throws arrows for a living and ultimately it all boils down to trying to make a living. Not only to pay the bills, but to also get a better ranking the PDC’s Order of Merit.

The Order of Merit is a rolling two-year earnings list that affords those at the higher end to the better paying tournaments. The more you earn over that rolling period, the more likely you are to appear at Alexandra Palace.

For example, here are there necessary cut off points for three of the biggest annual competitions: 

Players qualify for certain televised ranking events based on their world ranking from the PDC Order of Merit, including:

🎯 Cazoo World Darts Championship - Top 32 at cut-off date 

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🎯 Betfred World Matchplay - Top 16 at cut-off date 

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🎯 BoyleSports World Grand Prix - Top 16 at cut-off date

World Grand Prix Darts Betting Guide
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The top 32 is the most important cut-off point of all and here is what the list currently looks like at the time of writing:  

Position Name Value
1 Michael Smith £1,273,250
2 Michael van Gerwen £1,156,000
3 Peter Wright £1,153,250
4 Gerwyn Price £773,250
5 Rob Cross £543,000
6 Luke Humphries £539,500
7 Jonny Clayton £519,250
8 Danny Noppert £490,750
9 Nathan Aspinall £481,000
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Current World Champion Michael Smith sits at the top of the list and the £500,000 he picked up at the start of 2023 sees him just get the better of Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen. Smith has £1.2m in earnings over the past two years, his nearest challenger is at £1.1m. 

Two of three men to surpass more than £1m in earnings during the allotted period and with former World Champion Peter Wright making up this illustrious trio, the margin between him and another man to conquer Alexandra Palace is a rather considerable one.

Micheal Smith 2023 PDC World Champion -
By Sven Mandel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92970763

Wright sits third after having earned £1.1m, Gerwyn Price is fourth having earned £773,000 over the past two years. Not a figure that the Welshman will turn down but one that highlights where the disparities start to begin. 

Once you get past Rob Clayton in seventh place, no player has earned over £500k. Remember Michael Smith earned this by winning the World Championship in 2023, this list is a measure over two years. 

🎯💰Who's hitting bullseye in earnings?

Current World Champ Michael Smith leads with £1.2m over two years, closely followed by Van Gerwen at £1.1m!💸 Peter Wright joins the £1m club, but disparity kicks in with Gerwyn Price's £773k. Beyond 7th place, earnings drop below £500k. 💸🏆

We also know that the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix only accept the top 16 highest earners at their respective cut off dates, Damon Heta with £346,000 to his name will hope it arrives rather soon, as 17th placed Jose De Sousa is only £4,000 behind.

While we also know that the World Championship accepts the top 32 automatically and at the time of writing, Mervyn King has just squeezed onto the list. He has £173,000 in earnings to his name, Vincent van der Voort in 33rd has £162,000 by comparison. 

These are the players who will make the big tournaments without breaking a sweat but where does the perspiration come around when players are starting to pay their bills. If we take the UK’s average salary as £33,000, two years at this rate would require a player to earn £66,000.

Now we know that we can see where the financial belts may need to be tightened: 

Position Name Value Average Earnings
53 Rowby-John Rodriguez £91,000 £45,500
54 Steve Beaton £90,750 £45,375
55 Jim Williams £89,250 £44,625
56 Boris Krcmar £88,000 £44,000
57 Scott Williams £80,250 £40,125
58 Jamie Hughes £78,000 £39,000
59 Darius Labanauskas £74,000 £37,000
60 Matt Campbell £68,750 £34,375
61 Lewis Williams £68,250 £34,125
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At the current rate of UK salary earnings, only the top 61 players can better this through their Order of Merit earnings. Great news if you are Lewis Williams in 61st, not so good news if you are Steve Lennon in 62nd.

Although Lennon is just under the earnings threshold, sponsorships are likely to keep him in stable financial health. This may also have to be offset against touring costs, but after just missing out by £500 you get the feeling Steve is not going to be retiring anytime soon.

🔥🎯Breaking into the big tournaments is a breeze for top players, but paying the bills? Not so easy!

😓💸 Taking UK's average salary of £33,000, only the top 61 darts players surpass this in their Merit earnings over two years. Lewis Williams in 61st, you're good; Steve Lennon in 62nd, tighten that financial belt! 🎯💼

With that said, just 61 players being able to beat the UK average salary is a slightly worrying concern, there is no doubt that darts has evolved from pastime to sport but the elephant in the room is whether it is growing quick enough.

In fairness that growth can also be measured by the fact that 96 players make their way to Alexandra Palace each year aiming for a shot of glory and each of them will take home a minimum reward of £7,500.

But what if we looked at the 96th player in the current Order of Merit and saw how their earnings compared: 

Position Name Value Average Earnings
91 Ross Montgomery £17,500 £8,750
92 Dylan Slevin £16,750 £8,375
93 Tony Martinez £16,500 £8,250
94 Luc Peters £16,250 £8,125
94 Keegan Brown £16,250 £8,125
96 Gian van Veen £13,750 £6,875
96 Chris Landman £13,750 £6,875
98 Jules van Dongen £13,250 £6,625
99 Jamie Clark £12,750 £6,375
100 Andy Boulton £12,250 £6,125
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For example, If we look at the earnings of Chris Landman in joint 96th it does not make for particularly good reading. He has currently earned an average of £6,875 – a figure that is less than a first round exit of the World Championship. 

The toil is even worse if you are Andy Boulton who rounds out the top 100. With £12,250 earned during the current Order of Merit cycle, this equates to just £6,125 a year. Far short of the £33,000 which is the UK’s average salary.

Not only that, but the lower down the darts totem pole, the lower the sponsorship deals can command in value and if Steve Lennon can get by on an additional financial inducement, the same cannot be said for Boulton in 100th. 

Something that used to suggest that if you break into the top 60 you can begin to start dreaming of giving up the day job and in turn, you can also dream about conquering the world. Now though, with the pro tour now set to go mid week, it will be a choice between the job and the career. Whereas before, darts' weekend warriors would rack up the tour prize money, midweek matches are a different proposition and if players want to play all the upcoming schedule, a minimum of two months off a year is unrealistic. Now that dream about conquering the world may have to be put on the back burner if the sums do not checkout. 

PDC World Darts Championship Betting Odds

Thanks for reading this article, but before you go, we thought we would leave you with the current betting on who will be the World Darts Champion this season - Will Michael Smith retain his crown, or can a previous winner regain it, or even a new name to appear on the trophy?

You can check out our top darts tipsters right here on OLBG to get some tips and insight as to who they think are in line to land the golden prize.

Methodology

Data correct as of 12th September 2023 and taken from: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDC_Order_of_Merit
https://www.pdc.tv/order-of-merit/pdc-order-merit

Article Contributors

Current PDC professional Darts Player Matt Edgar provided insight and information. This article was researched and fact-checked by Dan Tracey - Dan is a multi-talented writer, data analyst and podcaster whose six-year career in the sports data sphere has seen incredible successes. From helping UEFA create their annual technical reports to writing articles for Sports Betting Websites, including sites like TheLinesUS and Goal 

Dan Tracey

Data and Words

Dan Tracey is a multi-talented writer, data analyst and podcaster whose six-year career in the sports data sphere has seen incredible successes. From helping UEFA create their annual technical reports to writing articles for Sports Betting Websites including sites like TheLinesUS and Goal - there's no shortage of areas where his expertise shines through! In addition, he can be heard on podcasts lending an insightful voice as well as providing weekly betting angles - all culminating with him teaming up OLBG.com in the present day. Simply put: wherever you find angled data being crunched? You'll also likely find Dan not far behind!

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

Dan's specialist area is data; and lots of it! Wherever we need numbers to create our unique deep dive articles, Dan is our go-to. Dan is also a Tottenham Fan and a football commentator for Newcastle Blue Star

- Dan Tracey, Data scientist and football editor

Matthew Edgar

OLBG Sponsored Darts Professional

Matthew Edgar, born on August 28, 1986, is an English professional darts player currently targeting the WDF World championships at Lakeside in December 2024 and commentating on Darts for Sky Sports. Known for his practice sessions with former world championship runner-up Kevin Painter, Edgar began his sports career as a coach for Northampton Town before shifting to darts. Prior to his darts career, he trained in mixed martial arts and was a professional wrestler. Edgar also hosts a dedicated darts YouTube channel, "Edgar TV," where he interacts with followers and shares his professional competition experiences.

Follow Matthew as he targets Lakeside and the WDF World Championships in December 2024.

- Matthew Edgar, Darts editor and wdf professional

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