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Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

March 20, 2014, 7:22 AM by Brittany Larson

Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Time is running out to fill out a bracket for the NCAA tournament.

"My advice, don't think too much, just trust your gut," Math Major and Augustana College junior Jimmy Duffy said.

And when it comes to picking teams, Duffy's assumptions have earned him some extra cash over the years.

"Nothing too crazy, but if you can get a bunch of guys to throw in $5 or $10, it makes things a little interesting," Duffy said.

Others would rather avoid the March Madness hype and save their five dollars.

"I don't think people should pay money for it. I just view it as a form of gambling, not that it's a terrible thing to gamble, but myself, I wouldn't spend money on it," Augustana College freshman Jessica Roatman said.

"When you look at the probability, the expected outcome is negative. So, you should build brackets a mathematician would tell you it's not rational to build bracket. And same with the lottery, a rational person would not play the lottery because the value, the expected outcome is negative," Assistant Math Professor Lindsay Erickson said.

Thanks to Warren Buffet's $1 billion bracket challenge, many people are trying to beat the odds, which the experts say is easier said than done.

Erickson says it's difficult making assumptions based on past performances.

"There is always that thing that pops up that you weren't expecting, so as soon as a 16 seed beats a one seed in the first round, everyone's bracket is ruined essentially," Erickson said.

But that's a risk some March Madness fans are willing to take.

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