What Are The Odds? Things More Likely Than A Perfect March Madness Bracket

Written By Brant James on March 12, 2022 - Last Updated on March 15, 2022
perfect March Madness bracket odds

We get it. Your NCAA Tournament bracket is perfection. Unmarked, un-balled-up. Pristine. No water rings.

Infographic wild odds more likely than a perfect March Madness bracket

And whether you applied exhaustive hours of next-gen stat research, school spirit, or the dreaded mascot war to fill out those 63 blanks, there’s no doubt about it. At the time your ink dried, you were right. But those darned college basketball players keep messing it up year after year.

This is why there has never been a verifiable perfect bracket logged in the history of March Madness. It’s also why sports betting and daily fantasy companies offer gargantuan bounties without fear of writing that check.

Bally’s is dangling $100 million for a perfect bracket. For the mortals among us, DraftKings has a $50,000 prize for simply getting the most games correct. Both games are free to play.

But … maybe this year, all you have to do is beat some substantial odds, according to NCAA.com. As in 1:120.2 billion if you’re really trying or nine quintillion if you guess.

Better odds than picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket

Aspirational

  • 1:10,000 – Finding a four-leaf clover

  • 1:11,500 – Bowling a perfect game as an amateur (American Bowling Congress)

  • 1:11,500 – Winning an Oscar

  • 1:12,000 – Finding a pearl in an oyster

  • 1:12,500 – Hitting a hole-in-one

  • 1:662,000 – Winning an Olympic Gold Medal (AsapSCIENCE)

  • 1:20 million – Becoming a saint (author Gregory Baer)

  • 1:32.6 million – Becoming President of the United States (The Motley Fool)

Gambling

  • 1:36 – Rolling snake eyes

  • 1:99 – Solving Wordle in one line (Wordle Stats)

  • 1:4,164 – Getting four of a kind

  • 1:32,768 – All 15 MLB home teams winning in a parlay (STATS)

  • 1:649,739 – Getting a Royal Flush in five-card poker

  • 1:292 million – Winning Powerball

  • 1:120.2 billion – Filling out a perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket with knowledge of the game (NCAA)

  • 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808 – Filling out a perfect NCAA Bracket by flipping a coin (NCAA)

Life and Times

  • 1:107 – Dying in a car crash over a lifetime (National Safety Council)

  • 1:220 – Being audited by the IRS

  • 1:500 – Of being born short a finger or toe

  • 1:563 – Catching a foul ball (author Gregory Baer)

  • 1:3,703 – Being wrongfully accused of a crime (New York Times)

  • 1:9,821 – Dying in a plane crash

  • 1:115,300 – Requiring an emergency room visit with pogo stick injury (Deseret News)

  • 1:200,000 – Having conjoined twins

Mother Nature

  • 1:15,300 – Being hit by lightning (National Weather Service)

  • 1:54,093 – Perishing in a hornet swarm attack (National Safety Council)

  • 1:700,000 – Being crushed by a meteorite (astronomer Alan Harris)

  • 1:3.7 million – Being killed by a shark (International Shark Attack File)
Photo by Shutterstock / Associated Press
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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