OMAHA, Neb. (CBS Houston) — An elementary school plays bracket buster to one fifth grade boy.

Columbian Elementary in Omaha shut down an NCAA tournament pool put together by 11-year-old Max Kohll, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

“I got in trouble because I was filling out a bracket with my friends and we bet money,” Kohll told the World-Herald. “We each brought $5 each.”

When Kathy Nelson, the school’s principal, found out about the pool, she put an immediate stop to it and called Kohll’s mother about the situation. Janet Kohll was quite amused at what her son did.

“My policy has always been you get in trouble at school, you get in twice as much trouble at home, but this was just too funny,” she told the paper.

Max did not receive any disciplinary action from the principal for setting up the pool.

“It’s not ok to gamble,” he told the paper. “It’s like illegal, sort of.”

Max has North Carolina going all the way.

Comments (111)
  1. Fred says:

    With the press getting all giddy about Obama filling out his brackets every year, I fail to see why Max had to have his operation shut down. Some principals have no sense of humor.

    1. Fuzzy says:

      Principal just couldn’t handle the fact that they wouldn’t let him participated.

      1. bro says:

        you failed reading comprehension in elementary school didnt you?

      2. Guarionex Sandoval says:

        bro: “you failed reading comprehension in elementary school didnt you?”

        I guess you failed basic grammar.

      3. Redd says:

        fuzzy the principle was a chick

      4. Chi_Sam says:

        Fuzzy – You’re a complete idiot and a total failure, aren’t you? Beyond your odd inability to grasp the simple concept of tense, you don’t seem to know the difference between male and female.

        The reason you are not funny, is because you are very, very stupid…

      5. Uncle Shylock says:

        Good thing this kid did not follow after President Clinton’s office rituals. Anyone got a White Owl?

    2. Emerald says:

      You got to be a state government run a gambling organization. My biggest complaint with the lottery is that a private citizen would go to jail for doing the same thing.

      1. J says:

        that would be because the government wouldnt cheat lol or lie about it sigh really not funny when I think about it


        Another 5 letter word for Fraud… OBAMA!

    3. Michael1012 says:

      this is just stupid on behalf of the teacher and principal, gambling happens in all levels of education year long, not sure why this is such a shocker? But yes it is very amusing

    4. T says:

      I’ll bet $5 that I’llsleep alot better tonight knowing that an 11 year was caught gambling.

      God Bless America

    5. Guarionex Sandoval says:

      “Some principals have no sense of humor.”

      It has long been my observation that principals generally have no sense.

    6. Spike says:

      This is not the most idiotic pool bust I personally have seen. I worked for the Us Department of Labor almost 35 years. In 2007 the Barney Fifes in the DOL Inspector General’s office ” busted” an office pool that had been run several years previously. The OIG spent thousands of dollars to shut down the pool, confiscate the handsome amount of $2k, and sent letters of “warning” to dozens of employees, including one who used entered her 5 year old daughter who was in the dol child care center. Fortunately the kid was not cuffed and given the hot-light interrogation. To this day, there is an annual warning to DOL employees of the adverse actions taken on any gambling. Law and order prevails in at least one government agency. Taxpayers should fill with pride and gratitude.

  2. Larz Blackman says:

    Don’t lose that entrepreneurial spirit, kid.

  3. John says:

    Finally someone sees the humor in kids. Mom and the principal reacted appropriately.

    1. Mom of Three says:

      Thank goodness they did not go all Zero Tolerance on the kid and put him in jail or suspend him. Common sense prevailed. Educate the kid on gambling laws. Praise him for use of math skills. And marketing. At some point, he will be able to do this.

    2. Vicky Bevis says:

      My thoughts exactly, John. Frankly, I’m surprised my youngest didn’t do something like this when he was young. Sounds just like him. The kid was obviously a bright student

  4. Ben says:

    How did the principal act appropriately? This is something that goes on in every office across America. Hell, I took part in pools when I was in school. It’s not technically gambling (since the kid organizing it doesn’t get a kickback). It’s just friendly wagering between friends. A typical overreaction, if you ask me.

    1. John says:

      Come on the kids were gambling even though unintentional. Stop the action, point out it’s wrong and move on, appropriate.

      1. GagMeToTheMax says:

        Give me a break. Probably the son of a cop or military general like all the other made up events in the news. I can already tell you the name is made up. Unelected officials took over Washington and the media after the coup and cover up. Even most of the comments online are financed with your tax dollars. Big brother is trying to create the perception of public opinion while burying the truth. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.

        Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in world history before it disappears forever much like me.


      3. karl anglin says:

        Obama has his NCAA basketball picks going!!!!

      4. Uncle Shylock says:

        Kind of hypercritical for our society to allow gamblng advertisments on radio, TV and internet but we call the act “wrong” for just kids. Frankly, we have a double standard. We can’t sit on the fence on this issue. Gambling is a voluntary tax. I don’t gamble so it is a tax benefit!

    2. Chris says:

      It certainly is gambling. Wagers were placed.

      1. kari says:

        so, is it gambling if I two people disagree on a fact and bet $10 on who is right? in a truly free society the gov’t should be staying out of these things. face it, the gov’t doesn’t want any money changing hands in this country unless they get their cut. that is why private gambling is illegal. since it’s done with cash and and out of the eyes of the gov’ts greedy hands.

  5. Matt Phinish says:

    No disciplinary action! That’s amazing. In this day and age they seem to suspend / expel people for everything.

  6. J.g says:

    For the record, its not illegal as long as he doesnt take a cut…

    1. Matt Phinish says:

      That may be true in Nebraska but it depends, I think, on the the state. If I’m not mistaken, in Oklahoma, they are only too happy to arrest you for it.

  7. bob.marley says:

    Meanwhile in a school near you, a child is being molested by a teacher….. Go figure….

    Yeah, I guess investigating Fast and Furious is a little more complicated….

    1. Mom of Three says:

      Hey, nothing happened to the kid other than the principal explaining why the kids can’t do this. Very appropriate action….notice something out of order, explain why not at their ages, move on…….next question.

  8. Mike Merryman says:

    Everybody into the pool!

  9. Miles Fulcrum says:

    Government schools are where the final sparks of creativeness, individuality and the desire to make money are snuffed out. Get your children away from the degenerates that call themselves, educators.

    1. marg1 says:

      Great comment. You nailed it.

      1. Miles Fulcrum says:

        @marg1 I admit to being influenced by one of the best …

        “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality” ~ H. L. Mencken

    2. David Maxwell says:

      Spot on my friend and precisely why I pulled my daughter out of the public indoctrination system. Why, because I believed learning calculus is more important than knowing how to put a condom on a vegetable. In 2005 our state superintendent of schools, Jack McConnell, requested 3.5 billion dollars to train California teachers to teach 1st year algebra. My grandson, who attends private school in Scotland, will graduate with a year of algebra, a year of Latin, and a year of French. He’ll be graduating from the sixth grade (form 8). At the ripe old age of 12, he’ll be more qualified than your average public school teacher. That’s the difference.

      1. Vicky Bevis says:

        I too would home school my kids if they were young now. BTW, MY public H.S. , one of the best consistantly over the years in our State, offered 4 years of French, 4 years of Spanish, & FOUR YEARS OF LATIN when I was there in the early 60’s. This was about the time when SATS/ACTS peaked..

        Compare that to what ls offered today, half of which is remedial!

  10. Murray Mothbard says:

    “A Price, for a Chance, to win a Prize” Gambling.

  11. beentothecountyfair says:

    How many of the teachers, aides, kitchen help, and janitors at this same school are doing the same thing at work?? Hummmmm……. I remember when I was in HS [long, long ago..when there was still common sense] there was a secret, quiet group of students and teachers who, when time allowed during the day, would go into a darkened room to watch the NCAA tourney. No problems arouse. Good God, now days suspensions and firings would fire off like the 4th of July. Should the student be allowed to run a pool? No. Should he be suspended with a permanent blot on his record? Please……………

  12. harry says:

    It looks like Omaha has a new Oracle.

  13. David Baker says:

    Everyone knows you can’t gamble, except when you can; it’s the law. And we should respect the law. Because we’re a nation of laws – so many laws no one can keep count. Which means that everything you do, or don’t do, is against the law – punishable by imprisonment and/or fine, or both.

    1. Snæbjörn says:

      And that means what? Politicians are constantly ripping us off and NOTHING is done to them. A nation of laws..what a joke. It is only illegal if you aren’t caught AND you follow the party that rules at the moment. Unfortunately, this commie regime in control now is totally corrupt. The Republicans are the same as democrats..they only want power and are greedy thieves.

  14. Robert Howting says:

    For once I read about a school administrator using his/her head. The principal corrected the situation without making a big deal out of it.

    Good for you Kathy Nelson! Sanity prevails over the noise of idiots. That is a newsworthy story.

    1. Barry bin Inhalin says:

      A perfect Liberal response.

  15. bro says:

    atleast the kid has the Tarheels winning it all. GO HEELS!!

    1. UNC fan says:

      Those of us here in Chapel Hill were pretty happy to hear this kid’s prediction.

      Max: in about 6 more years, you’ll be looking at what college to go to. Ours is pretty nice.

      Go Tar Heels!

  16. deimos says:

    next thing you know the kid will be opening a lemonade stand. get the swat team ready.

    1. Barry Soetoro says:

      Not if he does it standing in the doorway of the polling station in November, wearing jack boots, carrying a wooden baton, and blocking whitey from entering to vote. This is allowed, in fact endorsed, in Obama’s Amerika. Eric Himmler…. um, Holder…. approves.approves.

  17. jschm says:

    If he had applied for the permits to get fingerprinted, and background checks from the state, applied for a LLC, and paid taxes, the state probably would have ecouraged it. But the school missed a math lesson opportunity. THey could have used it to teach statistics, fractions, percents, odd, and payoffs. Instead a budding entrepeneur gets cutoff at the knees with the only lesson trying to be taught is gambling is wrong. Of course the state will put up a casino at the drop of the hat.

  18. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

    Depressioncrat women need to be banned from being publik skool principals, as in yesterday. In addition to this mindless, hysterical overreaction to a victimless “crime”, her “remedy” will probably be compulsory cross-dressing of all the soon-to-be-former boys in her school. Without hearing to contrary, we can safely assume that the teachers union mob stole all the kids’ money as well.

  19. joy says:

    The kids got moxy!

  20. sam says:

    This kid was just trying to make a ;ittle cash. He could be on the corner slanging rocks.

  21. Eddie says:

    The real crime here is that he picked UNC to win.

  22. Mike in Hawaii says:

    If that were my son, I’d take him out for a steak dinner.

    1. Jerzey Boy says:

      And no doubt your son could have covered the bill.

  23. Chuck says:

    Geez, yeah you better punish him–he might grow up to be a wall street banker.

    1. Robert says:

      True story.

  24. Barry bin Inhalin says:

    I wonder how many pools the principal entered…? The youth could certainly be in the President’s much ballyhooed pool I would think, and be ‘legal’. Maybe that’s where he got the idea.

    Adults set such great examples – I guess it’s only OK if you are trying to seem like the common man with an election coming up….

  25. jimmy james says:

    the dad is upset his son didnt take a cut of the profits

  26. YankeeI says:

    Wonder what would have happened had the kid’s name been Jose Martinez and he was an illegal?

  27. Rowdy Boots says:


    so this kid got a good example.

    Nice going Obama, while the world burns, you really need to pick your teams…

    very comforting to know that no one is in charge

  28. MoCal says:

    As if the schools don’t have enough problems to focus on. IT could have been considered a math assignment. I hope I get my $$$$ back

  29. shan says:

    barry obama to announce a “gamblin czar” today. his main focus will be on elementary school gambling issues. the “czar” will be paid $450,000 per year and be given stock options in GM.

  30. brad says:

    What? No expulsion? Libs must be getting soft.

  31. jslab129 says:

    Whether you classify it as gambling or not, it’s not something that should be going on in school. The principal did the right thing is stopping it and reporting it to the mother. The principal also did the right thing in not giving any discipline action. She put a stop to it and you go on with education. Good job in my opinion.

  32. Russ says:

    Ah, modern day journalism. All about the headline, and then 30 seconds of effort on the body of the story.

  33. joe says:

    The pools we used to get up in middle school ran well into several hundred dollars…….. how come we didn’t make the paper?

  34. Twin Tiers Bracket says:

    I filled out two brackets this year, go young Kohll!

  35. Robert says:

    So, he gets suspended for picking Carolina all the way <= sounds appropriate. I mean really, as long as he's not beating anyone up, whats a little bet going to hurt?

  36. Barry Soetoro says:


  37. The irony being, at this time of year, tracking your NCAA pool is the only thing to do in Omaha….glad no authorities busted me in 9th grade running a pool.

  38. Bet Mulligan says:

    I’d give him $5 just for having the cool to do that.

  39. Rusty Shackelford says:

    Something like this puts the school in a tough position. All you need is one parent flipping out cause their kid lost $5 in a basketball pool and accusing the school of condoning/allowing gambling. You know it would happen at some point. I highly doubt the kids were only discussing the pool and paying in the money outside of school hours and away from school grounds.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s harmless fun and it’s good to see an 11 year old have the organizational skills to put something like that together. Hopefully he also channels those abilities into other things as well. I’m just trying to think of it from the school’s perspective. We hear a lot of stories about school officials going overboard on the types of things that they discipline students for. I hate to say, this isn’t one of those times. And he didn’t really get into any trouble.
    That being said, the kid is simply preparing for life in the real world, where this sort of thing is done all the time. I’m glad his parents took the whole thing in stride.

    1. jschm says:

      Rusty has it right. THe princiopal controlled the situtation unlike many of them that don’t want to use any judgement and elect to just punish. I think the school could have taken the money aspect away and made it a good lesson in math using, statistics, fractions, points spread etc. I to would have been a good lesson but of course the “TEST’ ala no child left behind has nothing on this type of teaching. And we only seem to teach to the test. It is called a teachable moment.

  40. Rick says:

    Here you a have a future Las Vegas executive.

  41. Snappy says:

    What did they do wrong? Students and teachers were involved in the pools when I was a kid.

  42. Snappy says:

    This being said, my school did allow bullying to happen, supported and endorsed the bullies and punished only those that stood up against them.

  43. jschm says:

    THe Dept of Ed may come down on the principal for using common sense instead of going ape all over the kid.

  44. Wayners says:

    This principle that doesn’t allow gambling has her money in bonds, commodities, real estate or the stock market. What a hypocrite.

  45. Max Grody says:

    Congrats to the Principal for applying common sense. With all the ridiculous zero tolerance punishment being bandied about, this is a refreshing change.

  46. stopthe says:

    There isn’t any good reason why gambling should be illegal. Things shouldn’t be illegal just because they’re stupid, or bad for you. We don’t need the state to be our parent.

    We need a lot more libertarianism in this country, and a lot less moral preaching from our extremely corrupt politicians, school officials, and government at all levels. To bureaucrats and pols everywhere: please GTFO of our lives!

  47. ditchdigger2 says:

    Kids mak’in a little book, at eleven, future politition, banker, stock broker, the only mark are the folks stupid enough to play, no harm, no foul.

  48. ditchdigger2 says:

    I hope some bunko, vice cop, won’t spend $10,000 dollars, of taxpayers money, bringing an indictment against this highplay’in, flash paper burn’in, bookie. Bet there was a super bowl pool, with the staff, if not, they are not human?

  49. ditchdigger2 says:

    Gambling is a fools game, and there are many. Years ago, on industrial jobs, we would put 20 bucks on a game, or event, 700 men on the job, was real lucky, we also had men’s families become ill or die, would also kick in 20 bucks, times 700. Spent lots of time in northern Nevada on hunting trips. would go into town, usually Ely Nev., rent a room, just for showers, every 3 days or so. had livestock in a camp, so had to get back. They would give you chips for gaming, with the room. I was no. 5 for the shower. 10 min. I had 10 pounds of quarters, 4 free Jack Daniels, never drank in camp, gave the change to a Native Indian woman, working the slots. took a well needed shower. Never bet what what you cant lose

  50. 5thgradeLockdown says:


    I am so sick of the man trying to keep us down!

  51. Just wait till he grows up.

  52. dmk says:

    Flipping baseball cards was what we did back in the day. That was a form of gambling that was done on a routine basis during our school days.

  53. Patrick says:

    In a related story, the principal announced it was returning all the funding the school received from the state lottery system and that all future fundraising raffles were canceled because gambling is wrong, especially in a school.

  54. jschm says:

    I suspect that if the kid had started an OWS Houston, he would have been hailed a hero by the teachers.

  55. Fedup says:

    Why can’t most of the idiots in this country comment on the story (if you call it that), without mentioning Obama??

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