Where to Win Money with the Best Free NCAA Tournament Contests

The 2017 NCAA Tournament brackets have been released and that means it’s time to start scoping out all of the March Madness contests from around the web.

I have a combination of free contests and ones that require a deposit into an online sportsbook to enter. The sportsbooks tend to give out some pretty great prizes, and the entry fee is just a deposit into an account to wager with and isn’t used on the entry.

When entering into these contests, you can either fill one bracket out to use in all of them, or you can mix and match.

If you happen to do really well and submit the same one to each, it could make for an interesting beginning of April if you cash in at multiple places!

I’ll keep this list updated as I learn about more contests this year, but if you have any suggestions just shoot me an email and I’ll get it posted.

Remember to bookmark this page and send it to your friends, family, or anyone else who will be interested in filling out brackets this year. Why not help them enter free contests to earn some money?

Also, be sure to check out my bracket to see my Final Four picks and National Champion.

Top Online March Madness Tournament Challenges


ESPN is giving away a trip for two to the Maui Invitational, plus $10,000 in Amazon.com gift cards.  They structure their contests a little bit differently than other outlets.  They end up taking the top 1% of all brackets that get filled out and randomly select the contest winner.


Yahoo’s contest offers a $25,000 cash prize for the best bracket in their official Tournament Pick’em group.  It’s pretty straightforward.  Score the most points, collect the prize.  Tie-breaker, should one be needed, is the closest guess of the final score in the championship game.

FOX Sports

You can win $25,000 cash in the FOX Sports tournament challenge as well, but they are also offering a perfect bracket prize, something we’ve seen less and less of lately.  For a perfect bracket, you’ll score either $1 million or a Manhattan Beach house (“Cousin Sal’s” house), estimated at a $4 million value.  Don’t worry, if someone wins the perfect bracket piece of the contest, the next-best bracket claims the $25k cash prize.

CBS Sports

As an official bracket partner of the NCAA Tournament, CBS is offering an all-expenses paid trip to the 2018 Final Four.  The Prize includes four tickets to the semi-finals and finals, plus $6,000 in cash for luxury hotel accommodations and airfare.

In addition to the traditional bracket, CBS also has a “round-by-round” contest, where six people get a chance to score tickets to next year’s Final Four (semi finals and finals), but just $500 of expenses paid for.

Athlon Sports

Athlon’s Bracket Breakdown gives you a shot at a number of prizes including a massive HDTV, team gear, and a personal fitness accessory.  The nice thing about their contest is they offer second and last chance brackets.  So, if your bracket gets busted early, you still have a chance to win!

Jiffy Tickets

Another straightforward contest comes from Jimmy Tickets.  Just score the most points and claim your prize!  All prizes are paid out in gift cards:  $1,000 for first, $500 for second, $300 for third, and fourth through tenth places all get $100.

Sports Illustrated

SI is pairing with FOX Sports this year to offer the same contest and prizes.


Thinking about picking a perfect bracket this year?  5Dimes is where you want to enter that bracket!  This online sportsbook does collect an entry fee for their contests, however, the prizes are well-worth it if you happen to pick perfection.

5Dimes will also hosts a number of pools with 100% payouts to the top brackets, the more entries, the more you stand to win!

The Lube

Enter The Lube’s contest online for a chance at some great prizes.  They are offering a $1 million perfect bracket prize, plus a 2017 Mustang for picking 60 games correctly, and free hot wings for a year for the best bracket by location!

Paid March Madness Bracket Pools With Huge Prizes


You will need an account and a $100 deposit (or more) to enter Bookmaker’s Perfect Bracket Challenge.  Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be eligible for the grand prize $1 million perfect bracket payout.  Even if you fall short of filling out everything correctly, there are still some great prizes to be won.  First place takes home $10,000 in cash, second gets $5,000, and third is paid $2,500.  All entries receive additional loyalty BetPoints to their account based on where they finish!


BetOnline is putting up $10,000 in cash prizes for their Bracket Madness contest.  Top prize is $3,500 with second through fifth receiving $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, and $500, respectively.  To enter, you’ll need a BetOnline account with at least $50 of real money wagered in each of the three weeks of the tournament.


WagerWeb brings back their $1,000,000 Mayhem contest, which has a bit of a different spin.  Instead of simply filling out a bracket, each team is assigned a point value and the most points accumulated at the end of the tournament wins the contest.  Be sure to check the details out on eligibility for this one as soon as the information is available!