March Madness has swept the Capitol, and with nothing better to do, gambling is in full swing on state time.
Democrat Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s aide sent out the March Madness basketball brackets and explanation of rules to over 100 legislators and aides in the Capitol, and used state equipment and state time (the message was sent at 11:15 am) to craft the instructions and attach the brackets. It is costing each participating state employee $5 to play.
Here are Kawasaki’s instructions for gambling in this tournament, and clearly not for the benefit of a charity:
If you haven’t heard yet, there are March Madness brackets in Rep. Kawasaki’s office! The price per bracket is $5, and the winner takes the entire pot. We have printed brackets in room 502, with the scoring guide on them. I will collect your bracket and send out scores and standings after each round. Only those who have paid will receive their scores and standings.
The rules are simple. There are 6 rounds to the NCAA tournament, for each correct winner picked, a player is awarded points based on what round the winner is picked in. The person at the end of the tournament with the highest point total is the winner.
Some people prefer to place a great deal of weight on picking the championship game correctly and prefer to use the 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 point system. This means in most cases means the winner of the office pool must correctly pick the winner of the championship game. Others think that picking the most games correctly should weigh more on the outcome they might use a system of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
I definitely don’t like the idea of putting all of the weight on the championship game, you are basically eliminating everyone that does not correctly guess the winner of the tournament. I do however feel that picking the winner in a field of 64 does have importance, so I prefer to use a 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 type point system. This gives the people that pick the winner of the tournament correctly an advantage, but does not completely eliminate the people that didn’t correctly guess the champion.
Official Scoring System:
First Round (Of 64) = 2 Points
Second Round (Of 32) = 3 Points
Third Round (Sweet Sixteen) = 5 Points
Fourth Round (Elite Eight) = 8 Points
Fifth Round (Final Four) = 13 Points
Sixth Round (Championship) = 21 Points
If you want to track your own progression, I suggest making a copy of your own bracket. Good luck!
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The message was followed hours later by a similar message that stated, “This email was sent in error.”
But as some in the Capitol have pointed out, it was certainly not sent in error. Not everyone was included in the message, which meant that Kawasaki’s office had to pick through the hundreds of workers in the Legislature and find the ones they wanted to include and exclude from notification.
Rather than an error, was this bad judgment, or has the Legislature just found a place where cuts can be made?
Concerned citizens may wish to send a note to Rules Chair Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux for an answer. Her address is Rep.Gabrielle.LeDoux@akleg.