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World's best bowlers compete in Wauwatosa

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 18:59:23-04

WAUWATOSA, Wisc. — For the past week and for a few more days, the center of the bowling universe has been in Wauwatosa. The best bowlers in the world came to Tosa for the World Series of Bowling. It's one of the biggest events of the year.

Along with three other tournaments there, Bowlero hosted one of pro bowlings major tournaments - the World Championships. It's equivalent to one of the major tournaments in golf like the U.S. Open or in tennis with the Australian Open. Kris Prather from Plainfield, Illinois won the World Championship and took home a $100,000 cash prize.

Being a pro bowler is tough. Most cash prizes are not that big. Plus, before they get sponsored or win any tournaments, all their expenses are paid out of pocket.

“Now my yearly expenses are anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. So the check I won last night for $100,000 is - half of it’s gone already," Prather said.

To be a pro bowler, it's an all or nothing kind of thing.

“You have to fully commit to every single event and also be ready to lose all your money," he said.

For Prather, things have gotten a bit easier now that he has been on the PBA Tour for eight seasons. However, new members of the tour often lose money the first few seasons on tour.

“The first three years I was on tour I didn’t make any money," Prather said.

Some might even pick up a second job like Martin Larsen who is a pro bowler from Sweden.

“An app company in Sweden called lane talk we provide stats for the tour so I do a little bit of that nowadays, but it's pretty much been bowling for the last 20 years," Larsen said.

These bowlers don’t get the same kind of perks or glory pro football players receive, but they are putting in just as much work to get to the top of their sport.

“We’re not all just guys that eat pizza and drink beer and, you know, overweight and the stigma that we have," Prather said.

Another interesting fact - bowlers don’t often fly. They drive. Partially because it's expensive, but also because they can't travel anywhere with15 to 30 15-pound bowling balls.

There are two more days that you can watch the tournament in person. Find all the information here.

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