You may have previously picked out a winner, heck, more than likely at some point some of you reading this have picked the Final Four of the Big Dance – but if you can pick out the perfect bracket this spring, then it may just change your life. Forever.
The 4th richest man in the world, with a staggering $53.5 billion in the bank, Warren Buffett, has paired his multinational holding company Berkshire Hathaway with Quicken Loans to offer a $1 billion prize money for completing a feat ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in just a few weeks’ time.
“We’ve seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat,” said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans. “It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients. This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that bill.”
The tournament includes 68 teams playing single-elimination games starting with the First Four from March 18th and running through to the championship game on April 7th.
One billion dollars. That’s a lot of money.
But there’s a lot of permutations to getting that #BillionBracket as well. Over nine quintillion of them in fact according to DePaul University mathematics professor Jay Bergen.
He does think you can slash your odds dramatically on getting it right though! In 2012, he estimated that those with exceptionally good knowledge of the college game, and going off the fact that No.1 seeds have never lost to No.16 seeds (even to date) – that brings your chances crashing down to one-in-128-billion of getting the other 66 games spot on. No problem then.
If you were to enter and correctly predict every single result, you’d be left in the awful predicament of choosing between 40 annual payments of $25 million, or one lump sum of half the total amount.
Of course, you’re probably sat there thinking that the top prize is yours for the taking, drinks on you come April 7th, but enter nonetheless even if you’re slightly unsure, because their losers’ loot to pick up. The mortgage lender is also stumping up $100,000 towards buying, refinancing or remodelling a home to the next 20 most accurate brackets – even if you get just one wrong.
But it’s not all about personal wealth, as Quicken Loans is also committing to donate $1 million to non-profit organisations aimed at improving education for young people in Detroit and Cleveland.
One last point though – before anyone goes rushing off – I’m going to break the bad news, well if you’re based anywhere outside of the 50 United States and DC, and if you are younger than 21, that is.
Yep. It’s for legal residents of the aforementioned places only I’m afraid!
- Registration (for legal US residents…sorry…again) for the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket begins March 3rd. More details on registering for the contest will be released in the days leading up to the March tournament. For the latest updates, check out the contest’s official Facebook page.