Coin Flip Championship helps fill March Madness void

KELOLAND.com Original
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)- The Coin Flip Championship turns 30 years old this season. The championship is a creative way to pick and choose the typical March Madness.

It started as a two dollar challenge 30 years ago, in Burgess hall on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls.

It’s as easy as it seems, they take the March Madness/NCAA Tournament bracket, flip a coin and take the result of the flip.

This year, Shane Sandersfeld and Jon Hiatt, the Coin Flip Championships operators, are hoping to see big numbers for a couple of reasons.

“This year with COVID-19 affecting so many people and with little to no options for live sports, I teamed up with Jon Hiatt and the University of Sioux Falls to find a way to see if we could use the Coin Flip Championship to raise money for kids through school lunch programs or for others who are in need,” Sandersfeld said.

Another reason is due to the cost of the championship, because there is no cost!

“We have asked people to donate what they would normally spend on NCAA brackets or just out of their own kindness to whatever cause may be weighing on their hearts. Jon and I are directing our own giving to the School Nutrition Association to provide lunches for kids,” Sandersfeld said.

You can access the Go Fund Me that is set up to help feed school kids right here.

Hiatt and Sandersfeld announced the bracket via zoom on Friday and you can watch below:

You can join the Coin Flip Championship by clicking the link right here: Coin Flip Championship.

“In a 1 vs. 16 match-up, the 1 seed is heads and the 16 seed is tails. For the first time this year however, we are going to do a best 2-out-of-3 flips for every match-up,” Sandersfeld said. “Every year previous, it was one flip of the coin for each match-up. We decided to do the best 2-out-of-3 this year to add a little extra flair.”

The chances of picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket are nearly impossible, but picking the NCAA champion is much easier, but not in this championship.

“It is very, very difficult to pick the Coin Flip champion. You basically have a 1-in-64 chance of nailing the champ,” Sandersfeld said.

Unlike the NCAA Tournament, the Coin Flip Championship has no favorites and has no upsets as every team has the same chance of winning the tournament.

“You won’t really need to do a lot of studying to predict your bracket for the Coin Flip Championship as traditional powers like Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan State have no greater chance to win than Yale, Winthrop, NDSU or Northern Kentucky,” Sandersfeld said.

Sandersfeld has been the founder of this challenge and is hoping to see it continue to grow, but he is still surprised at the growth it has had already.

“I hadn’t really thought about the fact that I had been doing this for 30 years until I looked back at all the brackets that I have kept. I think it is pretty amazing that this event started on a whim when I was a kid and has been going on each and every year since and that I have been able to share it with so many people at different points of my life who have also been passionate about it,” Sandersfeld said.

This time of year gets Sandersfeld excited every year as the return of his Coin Flip Championship comes near. This year’s championship impact goes much further than just flipping for a champion.

“The fact that it could be used for something positive and to hopefully help others through the current coronavirus crisis is what is most meaningful,” Sandersfeld said. “I think we all want to find ways that we can help others or at a minimum bring a little joy to people’s lives because the real point of this year’s championship is trying to help those in need.”

One lucky person will win the 2020 Coin Flip Championship, but only if the quarter lands the right way.

“The winner will receive a customized commemorative 30th Anniversary Coin Flip Championship belt in the style you would see in WWE along with the actual quarter used for flipping the games for the championship,” Sandersfeld said.

Sandersfeld can’t offer much for advice because of the small odds of picking a correct winner, but he can provide some statistics for the 30 year history.

Above: Here is a look at the Coin Flip Championship from the last 13 years.
Above: The overall statistics from every seed in the 30 year championships.

If you’d like to get involved in the 2020 Coin Flip Championship with a chance to win a prize, you can join by clicking the link right here: Coin Flip Championship.

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