It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, with friends and family gathered around as joy and merriment fills the air. No, we’re not talking about Christmas; we’re talking about March Madness!

Yes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament is one of the biggest annual sport events in the United States, which means basketball fans will be kept hyped and busy for the next three weeks. Whether viewers are actively filling out their tournament brackets guessing who will be in the final four, or they’re just hanging out on the couch as an excuse to eat chicken wings, there will be a lot going on for both casual and hardcore fans. We can only imagine the college campuses that will be cheering hard for their teams which have now entered the national spotlight.

For those of you who aren’t college basketball savants but still want to make conversation throughout the rest of March, have no fear; your friends at Gemr have your back. The following five facts about the March Madness season may be a little crazy, but you can dazzle your friends with knowledge that’s 100% true.

Barack Obama has filled March Madness brackets every year of his presidency.

If you filled out a March Madness bracket at any point these past eight years, then congratulations; you have something in common with the president of the United States.

As part of an annual ESPN special called “Barack-etology,” the president has been sharing his NCAA picks since he formally took office in 2009. He’s betting on Kansas to take the crown this time around, but for what it’s worth, he hasn’t picked the correct championship winner since his first year.


The odds of writing a perfect bracket are not good. At all.

You know how they say that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery? Well, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than filling out a perfect March Madness bracket.

Depending on who you ask, the most favorable odds for picking a perfect bracket sit around 1 in 24 trillion. Others estimate the odds are closer to 1 in 9.2 quintillion. That’s 18 zeroes for those who need a reminder. So yes, those 1 in 14 million odds of winning the lottery start to look pretty good in comparison!


Christian Laettner sold his jersey for $119,500.

Christian Laettner is a basketball hall-of-famer who is best known for his time playing for the Duke Blue Devils. For those who follow NCAA collectibles, he may be best known for the out-of-this-world auction for his Duke jersey.

Yes, the actual jersey worn by Laettner sold for $119,500. To put this in perspective, that auction holds the second place crown for the most money ever spent on a jersey worn by its respective player.

Americans drink way more beer and order a lot more pizza during March Madness.

Okay, Americans drink beer and eat pizza during a sports season, that’s probably not that surprising. However, we’re not just talking more, we’re talking way more.

During March Madness season, it’s estimated that beer companies will produce an additional 4 million barrels to keep up with the demand, and pizza orders will rise by a whopping 19%. Keep in mind that these numbers are on top of already high rates of beer and pizza consumption, and this is just to meet the needs of a short 3 week period.


Fans are expected to bet $9 billion on March Madness this year

Yes, that wasn’t a typo. Fans across the country are anticipated to bet $9 billion during this – we repeat – short 3 week period.

This is not a one time occurrence either; this estimate is only slightly higher than the amount of money that was bet last year. About $262 million will be in legal wagers, with the rest being casual or otherwise informal bets. This phenomenally high number is also expected to span 60 million Americans, which in perspective is higher than the estimated turnout for the average presidential election. Perhaps Barack Obama hoped to reach these dormant voters by filling out his brackets every year, but we can’t say for sure.

Either way, whether you’re putting money into the ‘Madness or not, we join in raising our glass and hope you enjoy the games while they last. Also, if someone tries to convince you to bet money on having a perfect bracket, just say no.


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Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.