NCAA bracket pools have become so ubiquitous in the U.S. that it's hard to imagine someone getting in trouble for running one. But in Omaha, Nebraska, one 11-year-old learned where the line is drawn for when it's appropriate to be gambling on sports.
Max Kohll, a fifth grader at Columbian Elementary, found himself in front of his school principal according to the Omaha World-Herald, after she discovered he had been collecting $5 from students who filled out NCAA Tournament brackets.
The punishment didn't extend beyond a stern talking-to and shutting down the small pool, but Max seems to have learned something from the experience.
"You can't gamble in school," he told the paper. "It's not OK to gamble. It's like, illegal, sort of."
Principal Kathy Nelson later lectured his class on the negatives of gambling.
Janet Kohll, his mother, knew about the pool, but didn't really think about it.
"I didn't even blink!" she told the paper. "I make sure I don't send plastic knives to school in his backpack. I never thought about gambling."
As Yahoo's Prep Rally blog points out, all office pools that collect money and offer payouts to winners are technically illegal. After all, it's considered unsanctioned sports gambling.
However, it seems children are getting hooked into March Madness earlier and earlier. USA Today has detailed a few ways the youngest of generations is being leveraged in tournament advertising, such as an AT&T TV and social spot in which elementary school children fill out potential brackets.