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Sports betting: Madness no longer limited to March

By Austin Lewis

Managing Editor

Today is Selection Sunday, the day the NCAA announces which schools will be competing in this year’s March Madness championship tournaments for men’s and women’s college basketball. That makes tomorrow a Selection Monday of sorts, where millions of sports fans across the country begin to select which pools run by co-workers, friends, and family they will participate in this year. (And the day after that, lest a marketing opportunity go to waste, mini basketballs return to Pizza Hut for the first time in more than 20 years!)

March Madness is no doubt one of the most popular occasions for sports betting, even though the odds of picking a perfect bracket — something the NCAA says has never happened, by the way — are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. A 2021 estimate from the American Gaming Association said that 47 million Americans were expected to bet on that year’s tournament.1

But figures for other recent sporting events are also impressive: 20 million Americans planned to wager $1.8 billion on the 2022 FIFA World Cup,2 and for Super Bowl LVII last month, 50 million Americans were expected to bet $16 billion.3

So much money is on the line that the biggest winners are actually the states that have legalized sports betting following a 2018 Supreme Court ruling. In 2022, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois each brought in more than $100 million, contributing to a nationwide total of more than $1.5 billion in sports betting revenue.4

And if you forgot to tell your clients they need to report last year’s gambling winnings, don’t fret. Now that the filing deadline for most Californians and some taxpayers in Georgia and Alabama is October 16, you still have plenty of time before the final buzzer.

TGIF Mozzarella sticks bag

Tax tweets and more tweets

By Diane Fuller

Contributing Editor

Twitter debuted to the public in July 2006. Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet – “just setting up my twttr” in March 2006 and envisioned Twitter as “a short message service (SMS) on which one could send share small bloglike updates with friends.”1

In just 15 years, we have witnessed Twitter’s transformation into an up-to-the-second news source with social, political, and cultural clout. And even if you’re sick of social media and its overall tendency to confirm the existing biases of its users, it can still be a source of a good laugh now and then.

In 280 characters or less, people are inspired to create and share the ridiculous, whether about taxes, their cat, or Yankee Doodle. Here are some examples:2

  • Just did my own taxes. I should be in jail by the morning
  • This year when I have to file taxes, I’m just sending the IRS $750 and tell ‘em “make it enough.”
  • Turbo Tax is the worst computer game ever.
  • Doing my taxes: “Is at least two-thirds of your income from farming or fishing?” *gazes wistfully out the window for 40 minutes*
  • There’s just something about filing taxes that makes me want to throw a load of tea into a harbor
  • Yankee Doodle: *sticks a feather in his cap* This is called macaroni
    Yankee Doodle’s friend: OK, cool. Listen man, everybody’s worried about u
  • Sick of having to go to 2 different huts to buy pizza and sunglasses.
  • Our scariest president was probably Rushmore because he had four heads.
  • How dare you call me mentally unstable, on this, the day of my cat’s quinceañera.
  • Leaving my browser history open in case anyone in this coffee shop tries to steal my laptop when I’m in the bathroom. (History: WHY CAN NO ONE EVER HIDE FROM ME; WHY AM I NOT AFRAID OF DEATH; WHY CAN I SMELL FEAR; BOBCATS WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT KILLERS; IS MY CAT A BOBCAT YES IT IS)
  • Fifth Third Bank? I don’t think you understand how to number things, which is something I generally look for in a bank.

The OG Form 1040

Following the addition of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting Congress the authority to levy an income tax on individuals and corporations, the Treasury Department released the first version of Form 1040 on January 5, 1914.1 The form was four pages (including instructions) and was numbered 1040 in the ordinary stream of sequential numbering of forms. For the first year, taxpayers did not return any payment with the form. Field agents instead checked taxpayers’ calculations and then sent out bills on June 1, which were due by June 30.

A few fun facts about this week’s writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EA

Kathryn Zdan, EA, spends her non-Spidell hours on photography and watching horror films (and then sleeping with the light on). She also enjoys hiking, biking, and watching foreign films.

Austin Lewis

Austin Lewis loves music and the outdoors, and if he’s not going to a concert you can probably find him on a hike somewhere. Last summer he traveled to Peru, where he spent seven days on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

Diane Fuller

Diane Fuller loves to read, cook, and go to Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho, as many times as possible during the year with her family including grandkids and dogs.

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