The Triple C's

Creatively Collaborating for a Cause


Jason Ellis

Jason Ellis


Is it really all about the Benjamins?

March Madness bracket events or pools have been around for a while. And it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to imagine that these events facilitate the private exchange of millions of dollars each year. I mean, my little office pool required a $10 buy in with a $250 payout for first place. Not much on the surface but multiply that number by hundreds of thousands of events throughout the country and you begin to realize just how much cash is trading hands in the months of March and April. This cash flow has always been intriguing to me.

As a small time gambler, a $250 payout is great but it certainly isn’t life changing. After I buy myself a new pair of shoes, pay a babysitter to watch the twins, and take the wife out to dinner; I’m left with enough money to buy tomorrow’s lunch, a 5…5 dollar…5 dollar foot long. Sorry for the tangent. For me the incentive to participate in a bracket event is not to turn $10 into $250, it’s about pride. It’s about flaunting the crown and holding the title of March Madness King. I’ll be honest, I don’t know the thrill of wagering $1,000 for the chance to win $30,000 but I’ve got to believe, even at those dollar amounts, the sweet taste of victory is just as satisfying as the extra coin. So why don’t we see more bracket events for charity? Why aren’t we coming together to pool our cash as a donation? The answer…we’ve lost faith in the good of mankind.

I’ve had a few conversations recently in which I’ve discovered that people think that March Madness bracket participation is driven by the payout. They believe it’s all about the Benjamins – no I’m not saying it’s all about your neighbor Benjamin or Ben “The Professional” – but Benjamins…as in $100 bills y’all. Questions like, ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘what does the participant get if they win?’ are frequent offenders. I’ll tell you what they get, they get to hold their head high for the next 365 days parading around wearing the unmistakable look of a winner. I bet if you took a poll of those who won their March Madness pool just this last march, at least half would not be able to tell you how they spent their winnings. Wait until next March, I bet almost 75% would have no recollection of how they spent their money. I am also comfortable betting that every single winner is still proud to flaunt their title of March Madness King. Money will come and go but they will never be able to take your title!

So what am I getting at? I started with the fundamental belief that service and relationship are inherent to the human spirit. That if given the opportunity, mankind would choose goodwill over greed. I started so that years from now Kings of March Madness can tell you exactly how their winnings were spent…that they were part of a greater cause…and that it wasn’t all about the Benjamins. The good of mankind needs to be exposed. A $10 donation isn’t going to break the bank and Lord knows I don’t need another pair of shoes. I’m in it for the service. I’m in it for the love.

Help me prove the cynics wrong by becoming an agent of change. There are plenty of good people out there willing to donate time and money to a good cause. If you’re reading this you are definitely one of them. Help us spread the word about

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Who knows…maybe you’ll be next year’s March Madness King!

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