Consumer Minute: March Madness & Five Second Rule

It's likely you or someone you know will fill out a bracket for the upcoming NCAA Men's basketball tournament. If you enter that bracket in an office pool are you breaking the law? In most March Madness pools, people predict the results of the games leading up to the final four and ultimately the NCAA champion. The person with the best predictions wins the pot. A Dallas attorney says that appears to violate Texas law, and that of nearly every other state. Attorneys recommend not charging an entry fee to participate but we don't often hear of police raiding office pools. According to, an estimated $3 billion dollars was put into March Madness office pools last year.

The "Five Second Rule" just might have some science backing it up.
Researchers at Ashton University in Birmingham, England actually tested the theory. They treated an indoor floor with bacteria, then dropped various foods on it. They let each piece sit on the floor from three to 30-seconds. Then they checked the food to see if the bacteria had transferred to it. Researchers "did" find a link between time on the floor and infection risk. They also found food dropped on laminate or tile floors carry a higher risk than food dropped on carpet.

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