Bad News for Guy Tied for First in $50K NCAA Contest

He's doing really well in his bracket picks, except ... he forgot to choose a winner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2016 1:23 PM CDT
Bad News for Guy Tied for First in $50K NCAA Contest
No no no no no ...   (Yahoo)

Deadspin's "oh noooooo" is probably the best way to express the sad tale of James Kiki. The resident of Syracuse, NY—and refugee from South Sudan—decided to enter Yahoo's bracket contest for the NCAA basketball tournament, making his picks for the $50,000 grand prize, reports. And when he went to the site Monday morning to check out how he was doing, he had two surprises waiting: First, out of more than a half-million entries, his "Jahmo Syracuse" handle was tied for first place with two other contestants, and second (as loads of messages from Yahoo users informed him), because he has a giant "No Pick" for the eventual winner of the entire tourney next to his name, he has zero chance of actually taking home the money.

In a heartbreaking turn, although Kiki had assigned 141 points to the last game, he had mistakenly forgotten to fill in the slot for the final victor—which Deadspin explains isn’t that hard to imagine, considering what it calls "Yahoo's somewhat unintuitive picking system": Entrants might not catch a glimpse of the final field all the way at the top of the page, which is apparently different than how the other 62 choices show up in the center. Kiki says his original thought was to pick Villanova, but now that there's no cash at stake, he's just going to go for his adopted hometown of Syracuse. He hasn't had the heart yet to think about trying his hand at next year's bracket, but if he does, he says he's "going to make sure everything is saved before I hit submit." This isn't the first time this has happened: Per Deadspin, a "poor schmo" lost out on the chance to grab $100,000 from Yahoo for the same reason two years ago. (Someone else could win $100K if Syracuse comes through.)

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