Saturday 20th October 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

5th Grader Busted for Running His Own NCAA Bracket Pool

March 20, 2012 – Allen Moll

We’ll start with a given that everyone knows that underage gambling is illegal. Or even that unsanctioned gambling is illegal. But during this time of year, virtually everyone and their mother fills out an NCAA Tournament bracket, in hopes of taking home some late March cash in their office pool.

Even the most casual of hoops fans enjoy filling out a bracket based on each team’s rankings in the polls, strength of schedule during the regular season, or by less technical notions like the colors of their jerseys.

That’s why it’s called March Madness. It’s the quintessential playoff system in pro or college sports where every team in the field, no matter what the seed, have the same statistical chance of winning a game as the #1 overall seeded University of Kentucky.

But apparently the March Madness mayhem extends as far or as low as the 5th grade. An entrepreneurial 11 year old from Omaha, Nebraska named Max Kohll decided to organize his own NCAA pool at his hometown Columbia Elementary school.

Apparently he wasn’t being too greedy as he only charged $5 per entry with the winner getting half of the pot and 2nd and 3rd places each receiving a quarter share of the winnings.

Word started to spread around the West Omaha school that Max was hiding money and tournament brackets in his locker, a rumor that turned out to be true upon a locker search by his school’s Principal Kathy Nelson.

Max’s mother probably should have had an inkling that her underage college basketball fanatic was involved somehow in NCAA Bracketology since he had to borrow the $5 entry fee from his mom for his own entry in the pool.

In the end, Max got off easy as he was given a stern lecture by the Principal and made to promise never to do such a thing again, in addition to giving a lecture to his homeroom class. For the record, he had a fighting chance at taking home the top prize in his pool, as he had North Carolina as his National Champion…..

Check out Max Kohll’s story:

Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  Allen has also provided content to,,, CSN, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for

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