12-year old wins bracket pool but is too young for grand prize drawing

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Filling out a bracket in the aftermath of Selection Sunday is considered to be an annual tradition for many, doing it either for fun or to see how they match up against friends and experts alike. Of course there are also pools and contests, with major websites offering up a variety of prizes to winners that can include money and vacations.

12-year old Sam Holtz of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois¬†managed to finish tied atop the ESPN Bracket Challenge, beating out more than 11.5 million people in the process. That’s quite the achievement for Holtz, who’s currently in sixth grade and missed just six games in the entire bracket.

Unfortunately for Holtz his age prevents him from being entered into the prize drawing, with there being a vacation to Maui and a $20,000 Best Buy gift card being the two prizes up for grabs in the random draw. ESPN rules state that entrants have to be 18 years of age or older in order to be eligible for the prizes.

Sam said ESPN officials told him he’s ineligible to be part of the drawing, but that they would send him a goody bag of ESPN items for coming in first.

The decision “irritated” him, Sam said, but he was “still proud of myself.”

With multiple media outlets looking to speak with him, Sam’s mother kept him home from school for a half-day Tuesday in order to handle the requests according to Lee Filas of the Daily-Herald.¬†Congrats to Sam on his bracket, and hopefully he can duplicate this feat six years down the line when he’ll be eligible for the prizes offered.