In recent years, technology has changed the way people fill out their brackets. Office pools that once accumulated dozens of sheets of paper containing each contestant's brackets can now be completed with just a few clicks of the mouse. Sixty-three clicks, to be exact.

The internet has allowed competition within not only one's friends and co-workers, but with everyone who enters a bracket in the same contest. And multiple online venues have stepped up to provide online bracket managers, to varying success.

Longtime March Madness followers have probably played for some kind of cash prize, but these online contests offer prizes that only a pool run by hardcore gambling addicts could hope to match.

ESPN.com offers the most popular online bracket manager, with 1.5 million people submitting 3.1 million brackets in 2006. ESPN offers a $10,000 prize for the contestant who picks the most games correctly. All other entrants are eligible for the runner-upprize, a $5,000 Best Buy gift card. All entrants were allowed to join a number of groups, public or private, or even to set up their own group for their friends or co-workers. A message board was set up for contestants to discuss the tournament, as well as the contest, and the success, or non-success of their brackets.

The winner of the ESPN.com 2007 Tournament Challenge was Derrick Fleming, under the screen name "Fleming2." Fleming scored 1610points out of a possible 1680. He picked only five games incorrectly, three in the first round, and two in the second. He played a conservative bracket, missing one of the only major upsets of the first round, Virginia Commonwealth over Duke. He also picked No. 8 seeds Arizona and Brigham Young University to win their first-round games, but those teams lost to No. 9 seeds Purdue and Xavier, respectively. In the second round, Fleming incorrectly picked No. 4 seed Virginia to defeat No. 5 Tennessee, and didn't call No. 6 Vanderbilt's upset over No. 3 seed Washington St.

But from the Sweet Sixteen onward, Fleming picked the outcome of every game correctly. And he needed to, because the second-place finisher scored only 10 points fewer, so that any fluctuation in outcomes of games could have changed the outcome of the contest.

Another popular bracket manager, also produced by an online sports Web site, is MSN/Fox Sports College Bracket Challenge. Fox Sports offers a grand prize of a 60-inch plasma television, with five first-prize winners receiving an X-Box and accessories. This Bracket Challenge only allows contestants to create three brackets in three groups, but the easy-to-use layout, with a tab option, lets one manage their three brackets, all within one window.

A user named "Porknography" won the MSN/Fox Sports Bracket Challenge, earning 1830 points, and only predicting six games incorrectly. The winner correctly predicted 14 of the 16 teams in the "Sweet Sixteen," only missing UNLV, who upset No. 2 seed Wisconsin in the second-round, and Southern Cal, who upset No. 4 seed Texas. "Porknography" predicted the fifth-seeded Trojans to lose to No. 12 seed Arkansas in the first round.

In a year where only five upsets took place in the first round of the tournament, and all No. 1 seeds made it to the regional finals, conservative brackets were the way to go. The winners of both the ESPN.com and Fox Sports contests picked the favorites to win almost exclusively, and neither of them even predicted the one major upset, VCU over Duke.

But bracket challenges were not monopolized by sports news sites, with the popular social networking site Facebook.com implementing their own system, which has attracted more than 1 million contestants in each of the last two years.

Jacob Dodson, who will soon attend the University of Missouri law school, won the Facebook Global Bracket Challenge by picking 59 of 63 games correctly. Dodson, who filled out his bracket during a 15-minute break from work, won $25,000 for his bracket. He told Sports Illustrated that he picked teams based on his football knowledge more than basketball.

Dodson was someone who may not have taken the time to fill out a bracket on paper. But current technology won him 25 grand.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Steve Snyder, chief operating officer of CBS Interactive, which runs CBS Sportsline's bracket manager, said that the new services have expanded the base of people who follow the tournament.

"People who never would have done it in the paper world are filling out brackets," he said. "It's a great social interactivity. It just keeps growing."