Former Eaglette wins Bracket Bucks

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Jo Ann Bills, right, won this 40-inch Sony flat panel television from Kincaid Service Company, represented by Calvin (center) and Mark Kincaid, in the Times-Gazette's Bracket Bucks contest. (T-G Photo by John Philleo)

The North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Basketball Tournament this year, but they may be no more happy about their victory than Jo Ann Bills, our local Bracket Bucks winner.

"I'm very excited," she said this morning. "I want to thank the Shelbyville Times-Gazette and Kincaid Service Company for sponsoring this event for the community."

Bills, who lives in Bedford County near the Wheel community and is an administrative assistant at Shelbyville Central High School, will be watching next year's tournament in style on her new 40-inch Sony flat panel television, the local grand prize provided by Kincaid Service Company.

Bills knows her basketball. She was a guard on the 1964 Shelbyville Central High School Eaglettes state championship team and currently plays on the Shelbyville Senior Olympics basketball team.

Despite her basketball history, Bills says her bracket win was not based on skill.

"I just went down through there and marked them," she said. "This is pure luck."

She said that although she watched some of the games, she didn't really keep track of her picks.

"I had really forgotten about it until I got the phone call" telling her she had won, she said. Calvin Kincaid, of Kincaid Service Company, said he was happy for Bills.

"Who else better to win this great TV than a champion Eaglette?" he said.

The object of the Bracket Bucks contest, which appeared in the Times-Gazette and other newspapers nationwide in March, was to correctly select the winners of the 64 games of the NCAA basketball tournament, garnering points for each correct selection.

Of a possible 2,000 points, Bills scored 1,566 points.

The national winner was Cody Weber, a high school senior from Marshfield, Wisc. Cody, a 4-H Club member, tallied 1,994 of the possible 2,000 points and won the national grand prize of $12,500. A perfect score would have netted him $25,000.

Cody said he isn't a big college basketball fan, but got some help filling out his bracket from his brother, who plays sports.

"He's a great kid," said Cody's father, farmer Frank Weber. "We didn't know how we were going to send him to college. This is a dream come true."

Cody plans to study construction management at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.