The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, or March Madness, is upon us once again. The annual event also heralds the fact that bracket contests are running all over the place. We’ve combed through them, and found the five best FREE March Madness bracket contests.
FanDuel Sportsbook – Bracket Madness
FanDuel Bracket Madness will award $250,000 to players who score the highest in the site’s bracket competition. The top bracket will win a smooth $100,000.
Best of all, this contest is both completely free to enter and open to residents in all 50 states. In order to play, one must simply register for a free FanDuel account. Then, make sure to fill out a bracket before tip-off on March 21.
DraftKings Sportsbook – Brackets
DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the top online sportsbooks in the US right now. So, it’s fitting that the site has opened its app to the entire country for March Madness.
Brackets is a free-to-enter March Madness contest that promises big bucks for a group of players. Anyone in the US can join the contest and compete for their share of $64,000.
Additionally, players in DraftKings’ home state of New Jersey will have an additional opportunity to win big money. For a $20 bet, Garden Staters have the opportunity to play for a separate $100,000 prize pool.
Register at DraftKings to get into the action. There’s literally no reason not to try it.
Yahoo! – Best Bracket Millionaire
Yahoo! Sports is offering one of the simplest and most direct bracket contests available. Like other “mainstream” sites, however, there is less divvying of the prize pool.
As its name implies, Yahoo’s Best Bracket Millionaire contest will award the top bracket a cool million dollars. To that end, there are no catches – the rules even mention a lump-sum check for $1 million.
However, that’s the only prize that Yahoo! is offering to its players. So, to paraphrase Maverick, there’s going to be an awful lot of broken hearts at the end of the contest.
Nevertheless, it’s a free shot at a million bucks, so why not take it? After all, somebody has to win.
Fox Sports – Cousin Sal Bets the House Bracket Challenge
Fox Sports is offering the most gimmicky of free bracket challenges available. The grand prize for this contest is a $4.5 million house in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Purportedly, the house belongs to Fox Sports personality Cousin Sal. He is “giving away his house” to any player who manages to guess the tournament 100 percent accurately.
A winning player can also choose to receive a $1 million lump sum check. We suppose that option is for players who desire more liquidity in their free March Madness bracket contests.
Considering that a perfect bracket has literally never happened, Sal is probably safe in his house. Instead, the top scoring bracket will receive a comparably paltry $10,000 for their troubles.
$10,000 is still a pretty good deal for guessing the outcome of basketball games. It isn’t a mansion, though.
ESPN – Tournament Challenge
ESPN, the top sports media outlet, unsurprisingly has its own tournament challenge. In fact, the “worldwide leader” will award a respectable $22,950 in prizes to players in the contest.
However, ESPN is also the most corporate of sports organizations. So, fittingly, its corporate relationships preclude it from the largesse of some of the other contests.
In fact, according to the contest rules, ESPN must award prizes that are both somewhat randomly distributed and are not actually cash. So, the combination of a Hawaii trip and site subscriptions are the basis of the company’s prize pool.
First prize for ESPN’s Tournament Challenge will be a five-night trip for two to the Maui Jim Invitational basketball tournament next year. The prize also includes $10,000 in Amazon gift cards.
The prize winner will come from a random drawing of the top bracketmakers in the contest. ESPN will select from the top 1 percent of returns to generate a winner.
Additionally, 60 randomly-drawn players in the top 3 groups will win ESPN+ subscriptions. The company will grant them a year of access, valued at $60.
Honorable Mention – Caesars March Pick’em Challenge
Nevertheless, those who are in or near the Garden State can compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. In fact, everyone who fills out a bracket on the Caesars will win a free $20 sports bet.
As with other bracket contests, players will accrue points based upon their correct selections in their brackets. Caesars will award prizes using a simple leaderboard.
The first place finisher will win an outstanding prize – a $250 sports bet every week for an entire year! Second place will receive a similar deal, only for $100 per week. The third-place finisher gets a Las Vegas vacation.
Other prizes include smaller, single free bets and stays at Caesars Atlantic City. Overall, this contest is one of the most generous and appealing of them all.
It’s just a shame that it’s only for folks in New Jersey.
The bottom line is that there is a ton of free money floating around this week. Make sure to take a shot at grabbing some of it.