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Odds of a Perfect March Madness Bracket?



The only sports bettor on Forbes recent list of Gambling Gurus, RJ Bell of explains the eye-popping math behind the odds of a perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket

Las Vegas, NV (3/15/08) Ė This week over 40 million Americans in offices across the country are expected to fill out brackets for the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The purpose is to pick the most winners, but many dream of picking the perfect bracket (not to mention many contests associated with this feat). RJ Bell of breaks down the stunning odds against achieving this improbability.

There are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets. Thatís the number nine follow by eighteen zeros. Thatís over 9.2 quintillion. Some examples of just how big this number is:

If everyone on the planet each randomly filled out a bracket, the odds would be over 1.5 BILLION to 1 against anyone having a perfect 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 100,000 times more than every man, women, and child on earth combined.

Assume on the day the universe was formed (approximately 20 billion years ago) that 6.6 billion people (the worldís current population) would have each started filling out one bracket per second; as of today they would completed less than 10% of all possible brackets.

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.

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About RJ Bell of
RJ Bell, president of, has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2),, ESPN National Radio, Yahoo,, and in Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, LA Times,, Maxim, and Forbes.



 March Madness
 NCAA Tournament
 College Basketball
 Sports Betting

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