The NCAA made it a violation to have inter-office bets on the “March Madness”basketball tournament. Up until then I took upon myself to manage our “bracket bet”. We had about thirty coaches on the staff, various sports (16 at that time). A secretary won every year. Our lovely Doris Gilliam, the senior secretary, picked Cleveland State over Indiana University when the Hoosiers were #1. She didn’t know who Bobby Knight was. The BRACKET BET(S) have many variations. The phenomenon has even spawned an interesting book entitled “BRACKETOLOGY”, BY Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir. They have a contest for all kinds of topics, including “top tournament moments”. Or Laettner over Texas Western. (9/11 over JFK, or Jock Films with Raging Bull topping Field of Dreams. Get it now? John McGuire, Al’s brother, is the best gambler I have met. John concluded “…nobody knows anything.” I wrote an blog on golf gambling for “geezers” (see Blog 77). Rick Reilly’s book, ” Who is Your Caddy’ has a delightful chapter on Dewey Tomko (of TV poker fame), and a gang of hilariously inventive golf gamblers. Check it out. This year we concocted our own “March Madness” bet. We call it NUMBERS AND BUMPERS. Ii is based on choosing the right option for the ending score and the numbers involved. The rules are below: DRAW (BY CHANCE) FOR ORDER OF CHOICE, OR OPTION. CHOICES: FIRST: NUMBERS A. – 6 B. – 7 C. – 8 D.- 5 E.-9 . G-3 AND 4 H-1 AND 2 , I – 3 AND 4. NOW–BUMPERS ( IN DESCENDING ORDER THESE BUMPERS BEAT EVERYTHING ABOVE THEM) J. NO MATCH IN 4 NUMBERS (EXAMPLE: 75-64) K.- O ANY WHERE AND ALL BETS ARE OFF, 0 WINS, UNLESS ANYTHING BELOW OCCURS. L. OVERTIME AND ALL BETS ARE OFF, OVERTIME WINS INCLUDING K. OVERTIME WINS. UNLESS SEE M,N,O . M. 3 OF A KIND (66-56) N. 4 OF A KIND (55-55). NOTE; 4 OF A KIND BUMPS OVERTIME. 0. FINAL OPTION AND BUMPER: ONE POINT MARGIN, ANY SCORE, OVERTIME OR NOT. WINNER TAKE ALL BASED ON 4 DIGITS OF FINAL SCORE. EXAMPLES: 55-46, 5 WINS (5 IS THE NUMBER THAT APPEARS MOST). OR 76-70, O WINS. 76-70 IN OVERTIME, HOWEVER, OVERTIME WINS. 66-65 IN OVERTIME? ONE POINT MARGIN WINS FURTHER EXPLANATION. FUN PARTY BET. THERE WILL BE 4 FINAL NUMBERS IN THE GAME (UNLESS ONE TEAM SCORES 100 OR MORE POINTS, OR ONE TEAM SCORES LESS THAN 10. THIS DOESN’T MATTER). FROM THE NUMBERS IN THE FINAL SCORE, IF YOUR NUMBERS APPEARS MOST OFTEN ANYWHERE, YOU WIN IT ALL. FOR EXAMPLE DUKE DEFEATED GONZAGA 66-52. THERE WERE 2 SIXES. SIX WINS. WE BET 5$ PER CHOICE, PER GAME IN THE ORDER WE DRAW. COULD BET EVERY GAME. NOW THE KICKER. SOME CHOICE ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. “NO MATCH” OR BUMPER J WAS THE WINNER THIS YEAR BY A 2-1 MARGIN. THE #6 WAS A 1/4 BET. THE CHOICES NEED TO BE HANDICAPPED, LIKE A HORSE RACE. I AM WORKING ON THE ODDS FOR NEXT YEARS TOURNAMENT. WHO WINS THE BALL GAME DOESN’T MATTER, JUST THE MOST OF THE 4 NUMBERS IN ANY ORDER. P.S. I HAVE SHOWN THESE TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE. ONLY ONE PERSON COULD FIGURE IT OUT. HE, WE THINK, IS A SAVANT. “THE NEXT BEST THING TO GAMBLING AND WINNING IS GAMBLING AND LOSING”….Jimmy” the Greek” Snyder.