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Alex Hermann's bracket remains perfect after two upset filled rounds. That's a feat akin to winning the lottery twice. Can the autistic statistics wizard become the first to finish the tournament perfect? The public is watching.  (Source: NBC Chicago)
Teen will win nothing, but may eventually profit from attention

An autistic 17-year-old from the Chicago area has reportedly beat one in 13,460,000 odds and perfectly predicted the first two rounds of NCAA College Basketball's March Madness tournament.  His bracket survived beautifully, even as competitors crumbled amid a sea of shocking upsets.

Most would have laughed at the boy's predictions.  Northern Iowa over Kansas?  Cornell over Wisconsin?  Ohio over Georgetown?  Pretty unlikely -- but they all proved to be entirely correct.  States the young man, Alex Hermann, "It's amazing."

Alex is reportedly incredibly gifted in math and statistics and used his talents to divine the results of the tournament.  A Glenbrook South High School student, he states, "I'm good at math.  I'm kind of good at math and at stats I see on TV during the game."

There's some question about the bracket's legitimacy.  Alex entered the only of CBS's three bracket challenges with no prizes.  That challenge allows participants to change their predictions at any time.  Hermann's parents and his 24-year-old brother Andrew, who helped him enter his picks into CBS' bracket manager insist, though, that the bracket is 100 percent original.

Andrew's own bracket, like that of many, rests in shambles.  However, if he and his parents are to be believed, his brother has achieved a feat as probable as winning a major state lottery two times.  

If that is true it's truly unfortunate as he could have made a great deal of money.  One of CBS Sports' bracket challenges offers $5,000 to the winner of each round.  ESPN also offers cash prizes -- and its leader already has incorrectly predicted 4 games.  A perfect bracket would earn $1M USD from Yahoo or $13M USD from SportsBook.com.

Now that Alex's bracket is out there it should be interesting to see whether he can continue on his stunning success, this time verified by public scrutiny.  Alex predicts Purdue to win the entire tournament.  That seems extremely unlikely, if you listen to sports observers.  Purdue (4) faces top-seeded Duke in the tournament's Sweet Sixteen.

It would be easy to dismiss the prediction as favoritism; Alex's beloved brother went to the school.  However, you never know, he just might be right.

The odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 1,000,000,000,000.  In recorded internet history there has 
never been a perfect bracket.  

One can only hope that if Alex miraculously achieves the feat, that he receives 
some reward from somebody.  You can view his bracket here



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RE: On Dailytech because.. ?
By adiposity on 3/26/2010 4:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't mean in general, I meant in this case...since the favorites are doing poorly this year it would reduce the chance of a perfect bracket compared to a year where more favorites do well.

But I see your point, which may still apply even this year.


RE: On Dailytech because.. ?
By porkpie on 3/26/2010 5:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
"I didn't mean in general, I meant in this case..."

Ok, fair enough. I withdraw my statement.

But I have heard many people claim this is true in the general case. It's a rather common fallacy.


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