Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is backing a $1 billion prize offered by Quicken Loans Inc. if a contestant predicts the winner of each game in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s men’s basketball tournament.
The prize will be paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million and split among multiple winners if there is more than one perfect entrant, the Detroit-based lender said today in a statement. The winner also has the option of a single payment of $500 million.
Berkshire has specialized in unusual insurance risks for decades, protecting clients against big losses in return for premium payments. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company won a bet in 2010 on the World Cup after France was eliminated from the tournament in South Africa. Berkshire has previously guaranteed against the potential payout of $1 billion in a contest sponsored by PepsiCo Inc.
The odds of picking every winner correctly in a 64-team bracket are less than 1 in 9 quintillion, according to Jeff Bergen, a math professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Even with some basketball knowledge, that only improves to about 1 in 128 billion, he said in a video posted on YouTube.
“If you’re just guessing, you basically have no chance,” Bergen said in the video.
Of the 8.15 million brackets submitted to ESPN last year, none were perfect after the field was narrowed to 32 teams. The best record, shared by 5 brackets, was 30 and 2.
The contest is free to enter, but does have some stipulations. It’s open to the first 10 million people who pre-register (you’ll get your bracket on Selection Sunday) and is limited to one per household. The registration period starts on March 3 and runs through the 19th, or until it’s full. Also you must be at least 21 years old and a United States citizen
This is one of those times I have that silly wish a guardian angel gets a special nod to help someone actual beat one of these evil Carnival games. Heh