Better Chance At Perfect March Madness Bracket Or Powerball Jackpot?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Perfect March Madness Brackets

With the field of March Madness odds set, over 40 million people will fill out a tournament bracket, aiming to somehow fill out a perfect bracket. Whether you are filling one out amongst friends or participating in a paid bracket contest, what are the odds of scoring a perfect March Madness bracket? Before you find out in this article, click below for the best sportsbook promos for NCAA tournament betting.

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The Odds Of A Perfect March Madness Bracket

Every person wants to be the one who can claim they finally hold the perfect March Madness bracket. While filling out a perfect bracket is technically possible, the odds are more than astronomical.

There’s a reason there has never been a perfect bracket in the tournament’s history.

So, what does the math look like? If you were to flip a coin for each matchup and let fate decide, the odds of getting a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. That isn’t a typo.

Of course, your odds increase as you equip yourself with knowledge of the matchups, tournament history, and a basic understanding of the sport. If you invest hours of watching games, studying the players, and researching the matchups beforehand, your odds improve to 1 in 120.2 billion.

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Bracket Math

Let’s take it back to high school math class. It all comes down to exponents.

The NCAA tournament selects 68 teams for March Madness, but four games occur before the first round. These games don’t count in standard brackets. That leaves us with 64 teams and 63 games in your traditional bracket.

With two different outcomes per game, we are left with 2^63, or a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance.

Again, your odds drastically rise when you factor in even the most minuscule research on teams, including Eli Hershkovich’s Final Four picks column, but it’s still a very unlikely feat.

For context, “bracketologists” have a much greater chance of winning Powerball (1 in 292 million) or being struck by lightning twice (1 in 9 million). In perspective, your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 411 times better than the heightened odds with the research of a perfect bracket of 1 in 120.2 billion. Go buy that lottery ticket!

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Over 70 Million Brackets Filled Out Annually

Those astronomical odds will not stop us from filling out a bracket this year. Most likely, we will fill out more than one.

According to the American Gaming Association, Americans alone bet $2 billion on 70 million March Madness brackets in 2015, which has stayed consistent over the past few years. To put that into perspective, more brackets were filled out than votes cast for either presidential candidate in the 2012 election.

The study found that the average person will complete two brackets and the average cost per bracket is around $29. Half of March Madness viewers filled out a bracket at some point.

With legal sports betting now available in over thirty states, that number will likely rise. Online sportsbooks host a variety of free bracket contests each year with huge prize pools up for grabs.

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