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March Madness: What Are the Odds of Picking a Perfect Bracket?

It’s that time of the year when college basketball fans start thinking about filling out their March Madness brackets.

According to Wallethub, around 80 million brackets are completed each year with an average bet of $60 per bracket.

This year, an estimated $10 billion will be wagered on the NCAA Tournament, with $4 billion of that being illegal.

However, predicting a perfect bracket is highly unlikely.

The deadline to have your brackets filled out is March 16th for the men’s tournament and March 17th for the women’s.

If you do manage to fill out a perfect bracket, you could win tickets to the Final Four in Houston.

But with the odds being one in 9.2 quintillion, your chances of filling out a perfect bracket are slim to none.

To put that number into perspective, your odds of winning back-to-back lotteries are higher.

Kathy Poliak, an associate professor in data science at the University of Houston, breaks down the math behind the odds.

Each game has two possible outcomes, and with 63 games in the tournament, your odds of filling out a perfect bracket are one in two to the power of 63.

That’s a one followed by 19 zeros.

In other words, the odds are not in your favor.

While filling out a perfect bracket is highly unlikely, your knowledge of basketball can slightly improve your chances.

According to experts, your odds of filling out a perfect bracket with some basketball knowledge are one in 120 billion.

So, go ahead and try your luck with your March Madness bracket, but don’t count on winning.

Businesses should also be prepared for the potential distraction to employees during the tournament, which is estimated to cost about $16 billion per year.

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