The Living Room Times (and its various blog predecessors) has hosted a variety of contests over the years, from the venerable NCAA Pools — which date back to the LRT newspaper days, starting in 1996 — to the annual Oscar Pool, to a variety of Election Contests and so forth.
The first Living Room Times NCAA Pool was launched in 1996, “sponsored” by the LRT newspaper. It was conspicuously described as “moneyless” in order to avoid any conflict with school rules at Newington High (where I was a freshman at the time) forbidding gambling, and that has established a no-cash-prize tradition that continues to the present day. The 1996 pool had just 17 contestants.
In 1997, a pool for the women’s NCAA Tournament was added. Both pools have continued on to the present day, along with an NIT Pool (added in 2005). NHS alums still participate in large numbers, in many cases inviting their families and friends to join in. Large swaths of my family and Becky’s family are also involved, as are friends from USC and Notre Dame and other places I’ve lived, blog readers and other folks I’ve met over the Internet, and more than a few random Googlers. Participants now routinely number in the triple digits, with an all-time record of 263 contestants set in the 2007 men’s pool. The pools have gained national attention, too: Mike Tran’s success in the 2006 men’s pool was featured in an article on SI.com.
A complete history of the Living Room Times NCAA Pools, with standings and write-ups from every contest since 1996, is under construction. In the mean time, here is a complete list of all the pool winners in LRT history:
1996: Lou Ruggiero (men’s)
1997: Liz Acey (men’s), Brendan Loy (women’s)
1998: Shaun Sullivan (men’s), Claudio Gualtieri (women’s)
1999: Nathan Emerson (men’s), Jason Rose (women’s)
2000: Matt Thomsen (men’s)
2001: Jenn Castelhano (men’s), Todd Stigliano (women’s)
2002: Tom Greca (men’s), Jenn Castelhano (women’s)
2003: Justin Vale (men’s), Rick Boeckler (women’s)
2004: Matt Kagan (men’s), Matt Kagan, Danny Pilz, Conor Sullivan (tied – women’s)
2005: Brian Kiolbasa (men’s), Todd Stigliano (women’s), Tom Keck (NIT)
2006: Mike Tran (men’s), Rick Boeckler (women’s), Brad Miller (NIT)
2007: Arash Markazi (men’s), Scott Fort (women’s), Gary Kirby (NIT)
2008: Alex Whitfield (men’s), Jeff Freeze (women’s), Gary Kirby (NIT)
2009: Jason Strutz (men’s), Michael Holtsberg (women’s), Robert Dokes (NIT)
2010: Matt Wiser (men’s), Lauren Taylor (women’s), Steve Ivey (NIT)
2011: Pat McGriff (men’s), Jenna Auriemma Stigliano (women’s), Mike Quinn (NIT)
2012: Tim Donahue (men’s), Michael Holtsberg (women’s), Mike Wiser (NIT)
2013: Mike Boyd (men’s), Scott Fort (women’s), Ross Binder (NIT)
Bowl Pick ‘em Contests
In 2005, my blog — then called The Irish Trojan’s Blog — started an annual prediction contest for college football bowls. Here are the winners of those Bowl Pick ‘em Contests:
Regular Season College Football Contests
I’ve also run several regular-season college football contests over the years. From the 2005 through the 2007 seasons, I ran USC and Notre Dame pick ‘em contests, covering all of the Trojan and Irish games. Then, after a year’s hiatus, I started a more general College Football Pick ‘em Contest in 2009, covering a wide variety of games each week. Here are the winners of those contests:
2005: Andrew Long (USC), Dmytro Aponte (ND)
2006: Josh Rubin (USC), Gary Kirby (ND)
2007: Sean Sullivan (USC), Sandy Underpants (ND)
2008: no contest held
2009: Marty West
2010: Lisa Velte
2011: Jacob Sommer
Back in 2005, in the heyday of The Irish Trojan’s Blog, I decided to host an Oscar Pool. I’ve done it every year since. A complete history, with standings and write-ups from every contest since ‘05, can be found here. A complete list of all the Oscar Pool winners is below. The winner’s name links to the contemporaneous blog post announcing that person’s win. Where applicable, the year links to a detailed account of each pool.
Electoral Prediction Contests
Since 2004, I’ve run a prediction contest for each presidential election or midterm election.