I don’t play Powerball. I refuse to participate in something in which the odds of winning the jackpot are worse than getting struck by lightning. Far worse.
Because I like to think I have zero chance of getting hit by lightning.
So, I don’t bother to fill out NCAA tourney brackets, at least not in those contests on the big websites like ESPN’s or CBS’ or Sports Illustrated’s. You can’t win. It’s mathematically impossible.
Sure, someone does. But it won’t be you.
What put me off it for good was an e-mail I got from my pal R.J. Bell of Pregame.com. Excerpts:
There are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets (9.2 quintillion)
If everyone on the planet each randomly filled out a bracket, the odds would be over ONE BILLION to 1 against any person having a perfect bracket.
If one bracket per second was filled out, it would take 292 BILLION years to fill out all possible brackets (that’s 20 times longer than the universe has existed).
If all the people on earth filled out one bracket per second, it would take over 43 years to fill out every possible bracket.
If all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other (on standard paper), the pile would reach from the moon and back over 1.1 million times.
All possible brackets (on standard paper) would weigh 90,000 times more than every man, women, and child on earth combined.
Even if a person had a 90% chance of winning each game he picked, his odds would still be 763 to 1 against picking a perfect bracket.
Folks, this is disturbing stuff. But not as disturbing as having a team you picked to go to the Sweet 16 get eliminated by 1 p.m. on the first day of the tourney. Which happens to me every stinking year.
So I’m not doing it, except for the $5 office pool with just a handful of entrants. To try to take on the world, and compete against the person who two years ago had both Virginia Commonwealth and Butler in the Final Four for reasons impossible to explain? No way. You can’t win.
By the way, whoever loses Thursday’s 11:40 a.m. game between Butler and Bucknell is my pick to go to the Sweet 16.
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