Illinois sixth-grader wins ESPN’s bracket challenge, ineligible for prize

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Sam Holtz_87653

Sam Holtz, a sixth-grader from Hawthorn Woods, Ill., poses at home Tuesday, April 7, 2015, with his near-perfect ESPN NCAA men’s basketball bracket where he picked Duke to defeat Wisconsin in the finals, finishing in a tie for first in cable network’s massive annual contest. ESPN officials told Holtz on Tuesday that is he ineligible […]

Turns out, you’re probably not smarter than a sixth-grader, at least when it comes to NCAA men’s basketball.

A 12-year-old boy from Illinois tied for first place in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Monday night.

Sam Holtz beat out more than 11 million other people for that honor.

He was supposed to be entered in a drawing with other top finishers to win a $20,000 gift card to Best Buy and a trip for two to the 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

But there’s a catch. The winner has to be 18 years old, and Holtz used his dad’s email to enter.

“If I did get it, I’d probably get an Xbox because I really want one. Right now I feel pretty excited,” he said.

Holtz appeared on SportsCenter Tuesday to talk about his win. (Watch the video above for the full interview.)

SportsCenter anchors Jay Crawford and Chris McKendry said they “feel awful” and, along with the promise of an ESPN gift package, invited Holtz to co-anchor the show should he ever be in Bristol, Conn.

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