ESPN will not pay 12-year-old bracket challenge winner from Lake Zurich

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LAKE ZURICH, Ill. — A Lake Zurich sixth grader put more than 11-million people to shame when he tied for first in ESPN’s bracket challenge.

Sam Holtz’s near perfect bracket should have qualified him for a chance to win a $20,000 Best Buy gift card and a trip to the 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

But, ESPN told Holtz he was ineligible to win the prize because the winner has to be 18, and he used his dad’s e-mail to enter the challenge.

However, the Chicago Tribune reports SportsCenter offered to let him anchor an episode of the show.

Watch WGN’s interview with Sam in video player below:


  • Sarah

    How about put it in a trust that he can use for college when he turns 18….. Sometimes you have to bend the rules a little. Obviouldy no one in his family even thought he had a chance. But 1 in 11 million deserves more than a goody bag. Honestly Im disappointed in ESPN for their decision.

  • brandocamandosm

    hey, he used his dads email, so it should go to the account holder, how do we know it was actually his to begin with anyways

  • WGN4Life

    OHHHH so now “sometimes you have to bend the rules” or given prizes to parents. I guess that only goes for monetary things or can JRW get their title back? EXACTLY just what I thought, some people are funny LOL. Hypocrites

  • Shannon walker

    I really think that they Should Hove it to Jos parents and they could use it for school collage and and for food and other stuff cause hè won!

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