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Katherine Lewis

March Madness and Office Betting Pools

By March 14, 2011

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It's that time of year again: March Madness. Office betting pools are starting up, with everyone's predictions of the college basketball championships. A new survey from CareerBuilder.com found that 20 percent of workers have participated in March Madness office betting pools.

More men reported participating, at 28 percent compared with 11 percent of female workers, according to the survey of 3,900 workers conducted between November 15 and December 2, 2010. In the Midwest, 27 percent of workers said they bet on a work March Madness pool, compared to 20 percent in the Northeast, 17 percent in the South and 16 percent in the West. Workers also placed bets on such unusual questions as how long someone could keep binder clips attached to his body, what time a co-worker would fall asleep at her desk and the measurement in inches around a pregnant co-worker's belly, according to CareerBuilder.

Looking more broadly at the question of office betting, Vault.com found that 71.5 percent of office workers took part in some kind of pool and 82 percent saw co-workers participating, in a survey of 650 Americans. In 2008, only 58 percent of workers joined office betting pools and 77 percent had colleagues who did. However, 47 percent of individuals weren't aware of their employer's policy toward workplace gambling, Vault reported.

I've never participated in March Madness, because I'm not a gambler by nature and no expert on college basketball. But it never bothers me when co-workers take part -- in a sense, it livens up the workplace to have something new and different going on. What's your take on the phenomenon?

Photo credit: Murray State via Flickr

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