The Top Free March Madness Bracket Contests Online: $1 Million-Plus Up For Grabs

Posted on March 20, 2019 - Last Updated on November 25, 2019

If you don’t sling soft serve at the local DQ, sell insurance backed by a famous gecko, or work at any of the 60 or so other Berkshire Hathaway companies in the US, famed investor Warren Buffett isn’t going to give you $1 million a year for life for putting together a perfect NCAA tournament bracket up to the Sweet 16.

That’s because Buffett’s annual March Madness bracket betting contest is only open to Berkshire Hathaway’s estimated 400,000 employees across the country.

However, there are a ton of ways you can make your NCAA basketball tournament picks pay in 2019 online. In fact, there are a plethora of free-to-enter March Madness bracket contests online with millions up for grabs.

Yahoo! Sports Best Bracket Millionaire

The biggest of the bunch is from Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo! Sports and Subway have come together for the Best Bracket Millionaire contest offering a $1 million prize for the best bracket. The contest is open to anyone in the US over 18 or the age of majority in their state of residence.

Players can enter up to ten brackets and it’s simple: The best bracket walks away with a million bucks and everybody else leaves empty-handed.

ESPN Tournament Challenge

The ESPN Tournament Challenge is always a fan favorite and this year the World Wide Leader is putting up $22,950 in prizes in its free March Madness contest.

The grand prize is a trip for two to the 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Hawaii this November. The prize includes round-trip economy airfare, five nights hotel accommodations, and tournament tickets. There’s also $10,000 in Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs.

The ESPN Tournament Challenge collects the top one percent of the brackets entered and conducts a random draw for the prizes.

Bracket Madness on FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel and DraftKings, two daily fantasy sports leaders turned New Jersey sportsbook operators. are also offering free-to-play bracket contests this year.

FanDuel did it last year and they are at it again with the Bracket Madness contest on FanDuel Sportsbook offering free brackets to anyone in the US and $250,000 in guaranteed payouts.

No need to put together a perfect bracket at FanDuel. Just be the best of the bunch and you’ll win the $100,000 first prize. Second-place walks away with $50,000 and third $25,000. Plus, the top 1,000 finishers will also win various cash prizes.

FanDuel Sportsbook will also offer all kinds of March Madness game action in NJ.

DraftKings Brackets

DraftKings has jumped in the NCAA bracket contest game for the first time with its own spin on things. The inaugural $100K March Mania bracket tournament saw a series of qualifiers run leading up to Selection Sunday. From there, 64 qualifiers have been placed in a March Madness-style bracket. The bracket will play out with head-to-head match-ups throughout the NCAA tournament until a champion is crowned.

In the meantime, DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey has launched a DraftKings Brackets product ahead of the tournament.

DraftKings Brackets users can enter public or create private March Madness bracket contests prior to the tournament.

Plus, there’s a free-to-play bracket contest is open to anyone in the country offering up $64,000 in prizes.

Players in New Jersey can also purchase a $20 bracket to enter a contest with a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Additional contests will also be available allowing players to join in the Round of 32 or Sweet 16.

Of course, NJ college teams will not be included in any of the contests in accordance with New Jersey state law.

The free-to-play pool will pay out the top 6,475 places with a $5,000 first prize. The $100,000 NJ pool will pay the top 1,195 places with a $20,000 first prize.

Additionally, DraftKings Sportsbook will offer single-game wagering in NJ on all March Madness games. Plus, DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts host Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is hosting a Basketball Championship Challenge offering up $1 million for a perfect bracket.

There are various prizes for reaching the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, and Final Four with a perfect bracket as well.

But remember, the NCAA estimates the odds of anyone putting together a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

That means heading to NJ for this contest alone is probably a bad idea. But thankfully, several other NJ sportsbooks are getting in the March Madness game as well.

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March Pick’Em Challenge on Caesars

Caesars Casino & Sports in NJ is running a contest of its own called the March Pick’Em Challenge.

It’s your basic free-to-play bracket challenge offering prizes for the top 800 finishers. This includes a grand prize of a free $250 sports bet every week for a year. Second place gets a free $100 sports bet per week for a year and third a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Single-game March Madness wagering is also available at Caesars Casino & Sports for anyone in NJ, resident or not.

SugarHouse Sportsbook March Mania

The SugarHouse Sportsbook in NJ has its own exclusive NCAA tournament contest called March Mania.

It’s a March Madness brackets contest with a promotional twist. Players can complete and enter a free bracket before the first round begins. Then, they earn SugarHouse Bonus Store Points for each correct pick. Plus, wagers of $25 or more on any of a player’s bracket picks will earn them additional Bonus Store Points.

At the end of the Tournament, the players with the highest number of points will earn prizes, including a $1,000 first prize. The top 100 finishers get paid.

PointsBet Bracket Challenge

It’s not exactly free, but PointsBet in NJ is running its own bracket challenge of sorts.

Pick the most winners in all March Madness games and you could win a $5,000 Bonus Bet through the PointsBet Bracket Challenge. Of course, a minimum $10 moneyline must be placed on each game for it to count. Players will earn 1 point for winning favorites and 2 points for underdogs based on the PointsBet moneyline at tip-off. The most total points after the NCAA tournament wraps up wins the $5,000 Bonus Bet.

CBS Sports 2019 Tournament Bracket Games

Official NCAA tournament broadcaster CBS Sports has a bracket contest of its own as well. The CBS Sports 2019 Tournament Bracket Games offers various bracket options and the chance to win $10,000 and a trip to the 2020 NCAA Final Four.

Qlik $100,000 Bracket Challenge

Plus, there’s a data analytics company named Qlik running its own $100,000 Bracket Challenge.

This one is unique in that Qlik is allowing users to peruse its data for all of the teams in the tournament prior to tip-off.

Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge

Finally, there’s always the official game of March Madness available for free from the NCAA. It’s the Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge and it can be found here.

No word on prizes yet, but the NCAA has given away a trip to the Final Four in the past, as well as gift cards. Of course, the NCAA is burying its head in the sand right now and opposing all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. Therefore, the contest may not be the usual sweepstakes this year. However, it’s still there, it is free, and it’s possibly the best software to use for running your own private March Madness bracket pool.

Martin Derbyshire Avatar
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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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