Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2024
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Ronnie O’Sullivan can double World Championship prize money in 3 days | Other | Sport

Kyren Wilson is understandably on cloud nine after winning his first World Snooker Championship, having received a £500,000 cash prize to boot. Wilson defeated Jak Jones 18-14 in Monday’s final to cap off a stunning Crucible performance, waking up half a million pounds richer this week.

One might expect the World Championship to be snooker’s biggest payday, but recent arrivals to the sport Saudi Arabia have offered the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan a chance to earn twice as much for only three days of work.

The inaugural Riyadh Season World Masters was held in March, as the top eight jetted over to the Middle East to compete in the first-ever World Snooker Tour event in Saudi Arabia.

O’Sullivan came out on top, defeating Luca Brecel in the final, earning a cool £250,000. He has since become an ambassador to the Kingdom but was unable to pot the new ‘golden ball’ worth 20 points, which can only be legally hit if a player has already made a maximum break of 147.

No player at the tournament successfully potted the golden ball for a whopping £392,000, as chair of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, Turki Alalshikh, pledged to double the cash reward to £784,000 next year.

“Today in this competition, no one had the golden ball,” he said. “For that, for the next competition, we will double it for $1 million (£784,000). And second thing. In Saudi Arabia, we are honoured to discuss with O’Sullivan to have an academy by his name in Saudi Arabia.”

Should O’Sullivan or any other competitor in 2025 pot the golden ball en route to winning the Riyadh Season event, held across three days, they would earn an incredible £1,034,000 – over twice as much as the prize for becoming world champion.

O’Sullivan, who could be spotted in Sheffield wearing a Riyadh Season sponsor on his sleeve, promised “I’ll get there next year!” regarding the golden ball as he attempts to become the first player to earn a nine-figure fee from one snooker event.

A further £1million prize pool is on offer in the region in August for the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters. Dubbed the ‘fourth major’ after the World Championship, Masters and UK Championship, Saudi are staging their first ranking snooker event this summer to continue an increased role within the sport.

As a vocal supporter of Saudi’s involvement in snooker, O’Sullivan will be desperate when the sport returns to Riyadh next year, especially with the chance of taking home £1m for just a few days of work to make a mockery of the World Championship prize pool.

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