Forget card clubs and casinos. March means it's once again time for people to take their gambling to the office, with wagers on the Academy Awards and the NCAA Tournament. So the Business Journal asks:

Are you in an office betting pool?

Sandy Mendoza

Director of Community

Relations

United Way

of Los Angeles

I wish I were. I don't know that much about college basketball, but I would probably do an Oscar pool if it came up. Everyone's so busy, no one has the time to put it together. We never seem to find the time to do those types of things. We're just letting the Oscars and all that go past us.

Robert Miles

Regional Network Administrator

LegalLink

I'm in two "March Madness" pools, actually. Oh, man Last weekend I got taken out, I'm barely surviving. But they're both pretty cheap, just $1 and $5 pools. They're not doing it at my work, but I'm in one at my wife's office. It's funny, because watching the games you usually go for certain teams because you like them. With the betting pool, you root for who you're betting on, not for who you like. But I don't feel disloyal or anything.

Noah Wilson

Assistant Researcher

Thomson & Thomson

I'm in a company-wide Oscar pool that got sent over from corporate headquarters in Boston, and I'm in charge of the pool here for "March Madness." We've got quite a few people from the office in that one, but it's totally unsanctioned by management. We've got 18 people signed up and the first-place stake is $120. I'm in second place thus far. It's fun, but it makes watching the games different. You're keeping track of your points as much as enjoying the game itself.

Donna Preston

Vice President

Commercial Programming Systems

We don't have one going here now. I would be more apt to participate in an Oscar pool, but personally I'm not a betting person. I think that everyone in the office is busy with what they're doing. Sales is such a competitive field that you don't have the time to focus on that kind of thing. There are a lot of movie buffs here, but we don't have that kind of frenzy going on.

Margo Wuence

Library Assistant

Capital Group

I'm in the NCAA pool. I'm more of a baseball fan, but it's fun to get involved with betting pools. I think it makes the game more interesting because I don't usually follow college basketball. There are a bunch of my friends doing one. It's pretty big. They're collecting from three different offices, and the collection was $350 from just L.A. I'm in another pool as well, but I'm not doing very well right now. There were a bunch of upsets last weekend.

Carl Ceder

Vice President of

Private Asset

Management

Neuberger Berman

Of course I'm in "March Madness." We've got one at the office, and one going with my friends. I'm betting more in my friends' pool. You don't want to win too much from the people you work with. This year at work we're using $3 Starbucks gift certificates to bet with. There's a Starbucks right in our building, so it's a convenient method of currency. And even if I lose, winners might treat me to some coffee later on.

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