Bracket Busted: ESPN Won’t Pay 12-Year-Old Challenge Winner

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


LAKE ZURICH, IL - When you're a prodigy at something, you should get rewarded, right? So, imagine 12-year-old Sam Holtz's excitement after learning his bracket tied for first place out of over 11 million entries in the ESPN Tournament Challenge.

But there's only one problem, the fine print clearly states you have to be at least 18 years old in order to collect the prizes. That leaves this Illinois 6th grader with a whole bunch of nothing to show for his almost perfect bracket. He only missed six picks.

So, what's at stake? Just a trip for two to Maui and a $20,000 shopping spree at Best Buy.

Sam used his dad's email to bypass the age restrictions, but the entry is in 12-year-old Sam's name.

ESPN has already announced they won't let Sam enter the raffle for the grand prize because he broke the rules, but Sam says they did promise to send him a bag of ESPN goodies for coming in first place.

What would a kid do with all that money anyway? Well, for starters, Sam says he had his sights set on an Xbox.

Well Sam, consider it a life lesson. With age comes wisdom, and in six short years, all you need is another almost perfect bracket and you can cash in.

Good luck, buddy!