Get Lucky with Wimpy
   cost/square cost/square  cost/square      cost/square
 $36  $34  $45  $55  $50  $54  $52 $55 $64 $55 Final Score Payoffs:
                   
                   
 0 - 0  0 - 1  0 - 2  0 - 3  0 - 4  0 - 5  0 - 6  0 - 7  0 - 8  0 - 9 Round One: $25
                    (32 chances to win)
                   
 1 - 1  1 - 2  1 - 3  1 - 4  1 - 5  1 - 6  1 - 7  1 - 8  1 - 9  1 - 0 Round Two: $50
                    (16 chances to win)
                   
 2 - 2  2 - 3  2 - 4  2 - 5  2 - 6  2 - 7  2 - 8  2 - 9  2 - 0  2 - 1 Sweet 16: $100
                    (8 chances to win)
                   
 3 - 3  3 - 4  3 - 5  3 - 6  3 - 7  3 - 8  3 - 9  3 - 0  3 - 1  3 - 2 Elite Eight: $150
                    (4 chances to win)
                   
 4 - 4  4 - 5  4 - 6  4 - 7  4 - 8  4 - 9  4 - 0  4 - 1  4 - 2  4 - 3 Final Four: $300
                    (2 chances to win)
                   
 5 - 5  5 - 6  5 - 7  5 - 8  5 - 9  5 - 0  5 - 1  5 - 2  5 - 3  5 - 4 Final Halftime: $300
                   
                   
 6 - 6  6 - 7  6 - 8  6 - 9  6 - 0  6 - 1  6 - 2  6 - 3  6 - 4  6 - 5 Championship Final: 
                   
                   
 7 - 7  7 - 8  7 - 9  7 - 0  7 - 1  7 - 2  7 - 3  7 - 4  7 - 5  7 - 6 $ 1,000!
                   
                   
 8 - 8  8 - 9  8 - 0  8 - 1  8 - 2  8 - 3  8 - 4  8 - 5  8 - 6  8 - 7
                   
                   
 9 - 9  9 - 0  9 - 1  9 - 2  9 - 3  9 - 4  9 - 5  9 - 6  9 - 7  9 - 8
The above chart represents all the possible combinations for the final
score of a sporting event, in our case, basketball. The 1st number is the
final digit of the winning score, and the 2nd digit is the final number of the
losing score. You've all probably seen similar squares for football games.
With football, some of the squares are so highly desirable whlle others are
highly undesirable that the numbers have to be assigned after the squares
are sold. That's the beauty of Wimpy Squares. Everyone who plays will 
have the opportunity to select the square(s) of their choice (presuming
they're available). Each square will offer 64 distinct chances to win.
The idea came from local friend who runs a similar pool every year. He
often sells out 2-3 sets of squares, however he charges the same
amount (usually $100) per square. His problem is that while most of the
squares sell quickly, a small yet significant percentage tend not to sell at
all. It's not hard to imagine which squares are the most and least popular.
As a result, he usually has to buy whatever squares go unsold for himself. 
He pays out 92% and often lost money. Still, the pool is very popular
and I'd recruited dozens of people. I thought I could do better. Rather
than sell all squares for the same price, I felt I could make the perceived
least popular combinations more attractive at a discounted price. Similarly,
it seemed that a small premium for the most popular squares would be
at most a minor deterrent. Note that I'm taking the same amount in, but 
paying out a staggering 98%!! This is not trivial. Ignoring the extra work
involved to pull this off, margin for profit/loss is thin indeed. 
This is a LOTTERY type pool, and as such, you should not go into it thinking
you have a good chance to win money. Exactly the opposite is true. At least
40% will lose their investment - and at least another 35% or more will win back
less than they put in. Your goal - besides to enjoy yourself with a healthy
rooting interest for every game - should be to come close to breaking even 
before the final game, so that you have a free shot to win that $1000! 
None of this takes away from the simple truth that it's a great deal of fun. I've
always wished that I could offer this game (through my friend) to my loyal
group of wimpy fanatics. I'm not blind to the fact that many, if not most, of the
rabid college basketball fans who find my March Madness competition so 
challenging, might have no interest whatsoever in a random chance lottery. 
While this may not be for you, it's probably just what your brother-in-law or 
colleague at work is looking for. Most of you will have no trouble finding friends
who like, but don't live for March Madness. This is tailor-made for them!
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