One in Five Workers Participate in March Madness Office Pools, Finds CareerBuilder Survey
-Survey Reveals Who Are Most Likely to Place Bets and the Most Unusual Wagers at Work

CHICAGO, March 18, 2014 – The warming temperatures aren’t the only sign that this winter is finally coming to the end. The annual NCAA Basketball tournament is underway, and many workers across the country celebrate by filling out brackets and competing for accuracy.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, one in five (19 percent) workers said they’ve participated in a March Madness office pool in the past, while eleven percent said they plan to this year.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and included a representative sample of 3,008 full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes.

So, who are the most likely to place bets?

1) Management

When comparing job levels, directors, managers and team leaders were the most likely to report placing a friendly wager at work with 24 percent partaking in March Madness pools. Entry-level and administrative/clerical workers were the least likely at 14 percent.

When comparing compensation levels, 33 percent of workers who earn six figures or more said they’ve participated in office pools around the tournament compared to 18 percent of those who earn less than $100,000 annually. Twenty-five percent of workers who earn $50,000 or more have placed their bets compared to 14 percent of those who earn less than $50,000.

2) Financial Services Professionals

Workers specializing in number crunching and driving revenue were among those most likely to have joined in bracket challenges at work:

· Financial Services – 31 percent

· Sales – 30 percent

· IT – 29 percent

· Professional & Business Services – 25 percent

· Leisure & Hospitality – 22 percent

· Manufacturing – 20 percent

· Healthcare (with more than 50 employees) – 17 percent

3) Men

Men have shown a greater likelihood to place a March Madness wager at work. Twenty-six percent of men have participated in March Madness office pools, double the percentage of women (13 percent).

4) Millennials

While workers of all ages place bets around the tournament, NCAA office pools are particularly popular among younger workers. Twenty-two percent of workers ages 25-34 have participated in pools at work in the past and 16 percent plan to do so this year, the highest of any age group.

5) Northeasterners

Broken down by region, March Madness bets have been more common in the Northeast and Midwest, where 23 percent and 22 percent of workers, respectively, have taken part in an office pool. They are followed by the South (19 percent) and West (15 percent).

Most Unusual Office Pools

For some offices, the NCAA tournament isn’t the only opportunity to make friendly wagers. Some of the more unusual office pools workers say they’ve participated in include:

1- Bet on who could raise the best-looking Chia Pet

2- Bet on when a coworker would be fired

3- Bet on how long the boss’s marriage would last

4- Bet on how many times the boss would call a female direct report “girl” in one day

5- Bet on when a coworker would change his shirt, which he wore for 11 consecutive days

6- Bet on how much time someone would get when convicted of a crime

7- Bet on how many electoral votes the presidential candidates would receive

8- Bet on how many times the plant manager coughed during a meeting (indicating a lie)

9- Bet on the birth date of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s baby

10- Bet on how many pages were in a patient’s medical record chart

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,008 workers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 6 and December 2, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,008, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.79 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

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Jennifer Grasz


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