Thursday, March 18, 2010

Odds of a Perfect Bracket

2-63. That's if you don't know anything, where the chance of winning is 50% each game. To put this into perspective, that's about 250 times worse than winning back-to-back Powerball lotteries. Let's say you predict games correctly about 74% of the time, then the odds go up to a single Powerball.

In other words, don't be tempted by the lead that you will win $1MM if you get a perfect bracket. The time value of entering is well below the minimum wage.

[for non-US readers, I'm referring to the annual college basketball, single elimination basketball tournament with 64 teams]


Andrew said...

Most pools don't use a spread. If that's the case, it's no where NEAR 50/50 per game.

Thus your odds are several orders of magnitude off.

Anonymous said...

Eric writes, "Let's say you predict games correctly about 74% of the time..." -- isn't that about what you could reasonably expect betting each game without spreads? Seems to me he's already asked/answered your question.

Anonymous said...

well considering no one has ever won two mega lottos and people have picked every game right in the NCAA, i'd say yes, he has answered the question . . . incorrectly.