March Madness 17.3 million sports bets are placed on ESPN Men's Tournament Challenge

The ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge this year gathered 17.3 million prediction bets on March Madness, the most on record and a record increase of 17.2 million from 2019.

In addition, the competition also set new records for entries on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. In the peak period of entry, fans were registering over 30,000 bets per minute; highlighting how popular free prediction betting is in the US and what could potentially be achieved within sports betting during key sporting moments.

Another highlight was the ESPN Tournament Challenge App, which ESPN has been fully involved with throughout this week. As such, it hit number one for free apps on the Apple App Store, ahead of TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

The “Popular Bracket” reflects the percentage of people who select the winner of each match during the March Madness tournament. Within this challenge, this week, fans mostly supported teams from Arizona, Gonzaga and Kansas as finalists.

March Madness: 17.3 million prediction bets are placed on ESPN Men's Tournament Challenge

As a breakdown of the numbers, the two most popular groups for the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge are LA Bracket Challenge 2022 and McDonald’s x TC Group, both encouraging over 300,000 predictions each. Jay Bilas’ Group sees more than 200,000 predictions, and Automated Madness and Joe Lunardi’s Group each total more than 100,000.

The ESPN Woman’s Tournament Challenge has also been getting a lot of attention this year. The women’s competition will accept bets until shortly before the start of the game between Miami and South of Florida.

Fans who achieve the highest score in any round of the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge will automatically be entered into a competition with a prize pool of $100,000, totaling $200,000 in prize money, along with the women’s tournament.