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Joined: Nov 24, 2009
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March 24th, 2010 at 7:51:21 PM permalink
Here is the story about an autistic teen who supposedly correctly picked the winners of all the games in the first 2 rounds of the NCAA tournament. Though most media accounts to this point talk only about how this autistic teen beat 1 in 13 million odds to have a "perfect" bracket up to this point, a few have questioned the authenticity of the claim.

The teen's picks were made on cbssports.com, but not as part of the "Bracket Challenge" where users pick the winners before the tournament begins and cbssports.com tracks their success. In "Bracket Challenge", the picks cannot be changed. The grand prize for "Bracket Challenge" is a 2011 Infiniti M, awarded by random draw to entries in the top 10%.

The teen's picks were part of cbssports.com's "Bracket Manager", where, as I understand it, picks are entered before the tournament begins, and after the tournament has started, the "administrator" of the brackets (not a cbssports.com employee, just a user with the power of an admin.) can change the picks, even after the games are over. The administrator for the teens picks is his 24-year-old brother. The "Bracket Manager" does not award any prizes; it is merely a software means of keeping track of entries for one's own personal use.

Also, ESPN.com awards $10,000 to the first place overall finisher and $5,000 to second place overall, and only runs a "Bracket Challenge"-type contest.

So do you think this is truly the occurance of a highly improbable event? Did this autistic teen really beat out the over 4 million people who participated in ESPN.com's contest? Or did perhaps the teen's brother change the picks after the games were over, and now a harmless prank has gotten out of hand?

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