What are your chances of filling out a perfect bracket?


by Becky Mortensen
by Mike Strehlow

MILWAUKEE --- In office cubicles and on factory floors, it's bracket time as employees everywhere pick the teams they believe will advance on the road to the Final Four. CBS 58's Mike Strehlow took a look at the odds of scoring a perfect bracket, and how one company is using the numbers game to its advantage.

"It's March, anything can happen," Dr. Dan Rowe a Marquette math professor explained.

Last year Lehigh's win over Duke marked only the sixth time in 112 games that a 15th seeded team has beaten a number two team. But if you think that's rare, it's nothing compared to your chances at filling out a perfect bracket.

"For each game there are two possible choices, there are two to the 67th power possible combinations of brackets, " Dr. Rowe explained.

Professor Rowe says that's 147 quintillion different combinations. In other words, one in 147 million-trillion if you flip a coin for each game. Choosing a better seeded team each time will increase the odds of scoring a perfect bracket to one in 35 billion.

While some employers are clamping down on March Madness activities in the workplace, the owner of Olson's Outdoor Power Equipment is encouraging it.

"If the game is on we're going to be watching it," Greg Olson said.

"When they have something to think about other than work like a March Madness pool, they can talk about it, [it] actually brings the employees together, and makes them more of a team than anything," Olson said.

Unlike surveys which have shown a drop in productivity during the first week of the tournament, the belief here is regular timeouts to watch a game and check brackets will boost morale and output.

"It absolutely takes the edge off, it's a temporary motivator," Olson's employee Brad May explained.

Olson is confident he's got a winning workplace strategy and bracket.

"I got Marquette going all they way baby!" Olson said.

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