You know that March Madness pool you put a couple bucks into? You probably didn’t think much of it, but participating in gambling is illegal.
That’s right, illegal. When it comes to March Madness or the Superbowl, illegal gambling is kind of like jaywalking: it’s against the law, but no one really cares if you do it anyway.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, sports gambling is the most popular type of gambling for ages 14 to 22.
Betting on the Superbowl is one thing, but it’s interesting that so many people are willing to put down money on an event noted for its insanity and upsets (it’s called March Madness for a reason).
Year after year, brackets are busted, yet people continue to bet money, hoping to get a lucky break.
In addition to its crazy reputation, there are over 9.2 quintillion possible brackets for March Madness. Granted, you don’t need a perfect bracket to win, nor will some of them be picked. But with such a big pool of choice, picking a successful bracket gets a little dicey.
And most people who submit a bracket aren’t exactly experts on college basketball. According to the Harris Poll, for those that follow more than one sport, 32 percent said that the NFL was their favorite sport to watch, while college basketball came in at a measly three percent.
Not only do people have to make 63 separate decisions instead of just one, they often don’t have good background knowledge to rely on, making betting even riskier.
This year was hectic, particularly in early rounds. In fact, according to ESPN, the first day of the 64-team round this year set records, with the most games determined by only one point in a single day in tournament history.
By the end of the round of 64, there was only one perfect bracket intact out of the 11.57 million submitted in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge. So just think about those odds next year when you buy into a March Madness pool.