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Do You Make Bets at Work?
Fantasy baseball? Sign me up. The Kentucky Derby? My money is on the long shot. NBA finals? I've got $10 on the Bulls. When will Abby have her baby? Huh?!?
According to Infoplease.com, the FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is gambled each year on the NCAA tournament, but only $80 million is bet legally through sports books in Nevada. The rest of it is gambled illegally -- a lot of by regular folks glued to ESPN's live game updates on their office computers.
Informal gambling pools are as standard as coffee breaks in many workplaces. More than one-third of U.S. workers report they have entered a Super Bowl office pool in the past, according to a recent survey of more than 2,500 workers by CareerBuilder.com, the nation's largest online job network.
Men were more likely to take part with 45 percent placing bets, compared with 31 percent of women.
Though some noble workers join the pools to foster camaraderie with their co-workers, most are drawn in by the relatively low buy-in ($5-20 on average) and high winnings potential.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, while 39 percent of workers expected the payout for this year's Super Bowl winner at their office to be $100 or less, 61 percent expected to potentially win more than $100, and 15 percent anticipated the prize would exceed $500.
Luckily, despite the prospect of winning the big bucks, workers are still, well, working. A 1999 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that of the HR professionals who reported knowing their employees participate in office betting, more than half (56 percent) said the gambling has had no effect on worker productivity.
Not your typical office pool
Some workplaces have moved past sporting events and guessing their pregnant co-workers' delivery dates. According to CareerBuilder, some of the most unusual office pools include:
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