As we get ready for college basketball's "March Madness", this guy reminds us, how NOT to run a pool.

Pretty much everybody has played this game at your local bar or just with friends and family during your Super Bowl party. "Super Bowl Squares" is the game where you write your name in squares on a grid, and put numbers along the top and side. Then the square that matches up with the score at the end of each quarter wins money. It takes ZERO sports knowledge and it's just "dumb luck" to win. It usually costs a few bucks per square to play. But a guy near Buffalo, New York went BIG this year. REALLY BIG...

60-year-old, Robert Brandel set up a Super Bowl Squares pool on-line that cost $500 per square. There are 100 boxes, so that means a total of 50-GRAND was in the pot!

He bought some of the squares himself, but didn't win. Which was a major problem for him...because the entire thing was actually a huge scam. He sold less than half of the squares to real people, and made up the rest of the names to give himself a good chance of winning. Problem is, he must have posted everyone's numbers, so everyone could see who the winners were. And again, just by "dumb luck", real people won all the money. So last week, he tried to get out of paying them...by staging his own KIDNAPPING! That's right, he managed to "step it up a notch", and make a bad situation, much worse!

Someone called 911 last Wednesday after finding him in his truck with his hands and legs bound. And he claimed that two guys with a gun stole all the money. But police quickly figured out he staged the whole thing!

He's facing fraud charges. It's not clear if anyone will get their money back or not. But, who's the real fool here? Brandel? or the people that blindly threw $500 into a Super Bowl squares pool, on-line, with a presumably total stranger running it? Moral of the story: learn from this, and be careful when you're filling out your "brackets" for March Madness!

WGRZ/BBC