Basketball buffs can win more than bragging rights if they can guess the perfect NCAA bracket for this year's tournament. Warren Buffett has promised a $1 billion prize to any contestant who correctly predicts the winners of all 67 games.
Buffet's company Berkshire Hathaway and the nation's fourth-largest mortgage lender, Quicken Loans, are teaming up to pay the prize in installments of $25 million annually during the next 40 years. If the winner prefers a lump sum payment of $500 million that option is also being offered, CNN reports. If there are multiple winners the prize will be split among the entries.
"We've seen a lot of contests offering $1 million for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, 'What is the perfect bracket worth?' We decided $1 billion seems right for such an impressive feat," Jay Farner, Quicken Loan's president and chief marketing officer, said in a press release. "It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients. This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that bill," he said.
The question remains – how likely is it for someone to create the winning bracket?
The answer may be more disappointing than inspiring. Bloomberg.com quoted De Paul University math professor Jeff Bergen saying the odds of an individual with zero knowledge of the beloved March Madness season picking every single winning team correctly is less than 1 in 9 quintillion. However if you do have some expertise in the subject your odds go up to about 1 in 128 billion, according to Bergen.
However those who find the odds discouraging should still enter the contest. The LA Times reported that the top 20 entries that are the most accurate will be given $100,000 to remodel, refinance, or buy a home.
Participation in the contest is free and registration for the contest is scheduled to begin on March 3, with March Madness kicking of March 18.
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