It’s betting season in America — a time when even the least-engaged pop-culture consumers are at least vaguely aware of the NCAA tournament, the forthcoming Triple Crown and a Powerball jackpot that has swelled to $320 million overnight.
Athletics and spectacle aside, there are real money-making opportunities. Between now and Sunday, there are chances — slim as they may be — to multiply your wealth, many, many times over.
The pot, which was at a paltry $261 million Wednesday, has grown to $320 million. The next drawing is at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, and it only costs $2 to enter.
The Powerball is in 42 states plus Washington D.C., but not California — Californians will have to drive to Arizona or Oregon to get in on Powerball fever.
There's a reason they call it March Madness: From Thursday to Sunday, there are 48 college basketball games you can put money on, assuming you haven't already filled out a traditional bracket in an office pool.
While chances of filling out a perfect bracket are woefully long (1 in 9.2 quintillion or a kinder 1 in 128 billion, according to DePaul math professor Jay Bergen, who explains his calculations in the videos below), you don’t need perfection to win. You just need to do better than everyone else in your pool, which requires knowledge of neither basketball nor betting.
If your friends and collegues are accepting late entries, check out these tips on picking winners. If they're not, don't despair. The folks at Yahoo! Sports and ESPN have generous gambling opportunities for you:
ROAD TO THE DERBY
The Triple Crown, that trio of horse races that is paired with mint juleps and seersucker suits, is on the horizon, and stakes are rising at racetracks across the country. Here are two races this weekend to put your money on: