Sam Holtz, age 12, finished on top of the ESPN Bracket Challenge, beating 11.57 million others who entered the contest.
However, Sam Holtz’s joy soon turned sour after ESPN insisted that he was actually ineligible to enter the competition.
Holtz, who hails from Lake Zurich, Indiana, found himself finishing on top of the ESPN’s Bracket Challenge after Duke beat Wisconsin to claim the NCAA Tournament Championship. Duke defeated Wisconsin by 68-63 on Monday night to win their fifth NCAA.
Holtz, who predicted each of the teams that ended up in the Final Four, explained to ABC7 his method for success. “Just rushed right through it,” he admitted, before he modestly stated, “I think it was all skill, some people say it was luck, but I think I studied enough.”
He also told the Daily Herald, “There is no secret. There was some luck, and I studied ESPN.com. I just picked the teams that I felt had the best players.”
In the end, Holtz ended up with 1,830 points and he only missed six games on the entire bracket. In fact, Sam Holtz had a 100 percent record throughout the sweet 16, elite 8, Final 4 and championship rounds too.
After Monday’s contest Sam Holtz thought that he was entitled to the winning prize, which, according to UPI, is a $20,000 Best Guy gift card as well as a trip to the 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the annual college basketball tournament that is held every Thanksgiving Week in Hawaii.
However not only have ESPN revealed that a raffle will decide which of the top entries actually wins the tournament, but they’ve even revealed that Holtz isn’t eligible to claim it at all.
That’s because he is six years younger than the entry age, which is at least 18 years old. Holtz revealed that he used his father’s email address to enter the competition, and he was then assisted throughout by him too.
Holtz was called and informed by ESPN that he was ineligible on Tuesday night. Holtz was understandably frustrated by this confirmation. “I’m irritated,” Holtz told the Daily Herald. “Yes, I’m still proud of my accomplishment, but I’m not happy with this decision.”
ESPN won’t leave Sam Holtz empty hand though as they are going to send the 12-year-old a goody bag of prizes to commemorate his success. While this didn’t stop his mother Elizabeth Holtz from being impressed by her son’s triumph, as she declared, “It’s still quite a feat.”
[Image via ABC Local]