March Madness on steroids

If you’ve never, ever entertained the thought of filling out a NCAA Tournament bracket, Warren Buffet may have given you a reason to do so this year.

From Business

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans are partnering to award anyone who fills out a perfect 2014 Men’s NCAA Tournament bracket with $1 billion.

The prize will be paid out in 40 annual installments of $25 million. If there’s more than one winner they’ll have to share. The winner or winners can also take or split up an immediate $500 million lump sum payment.

“It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients. This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that bill,” Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans said in a statement. He added: “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.”

In addition to the grand prize, Quicken will award $100,000 each to the contest’s 20 most accurate ‘imperfect’ brackets submitted by qualified entrants in the contest to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. Quicken will also donate $1 million to inner-city Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations. Quicken is based in Detroit, but Gilbert owns the Cleveland Cavaliers and the city’s Horseshoe Casino.

The odds are not ideal — a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance.

But it costs nothing to fill out so you should probably do it. The contest starts March 3rd. “March Madness” kicks off March 18.

I don’t get too serious about filling out brackets.  I’ve done a few just to compete with co-workers, but this will likely increase the number of bracketologists this year.  If you’re going to do a bracket, you may as well go big this year.  Good luck and have fun.  According to an article from USA Today, the odds are not in anybody’s favor.  “Using that number, if everyone in the United States filled out a bracket, we’d see a perfect one every 400 years.”

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4 thoughts on “March Madness on steroids

  1. Admittedly I’m a cynic by nature but I see this as nothing more than a PR move by Warren Buffet, a man who craves publicity. He’s getting tons of ink for something which will not likely cost him a dime.

    In the past some of the car dealerships that I worked at used to have things like “hole in one contests”, where if you got a hole in one at a certain local tournament you won a car. Nobody ever won the car but the dealerships would always purchase an insurance policy to cover the cost of giving away the car, in the event somebody won. I’d bet my ass that Warren Buffet has done the same thing, likely through Lloyds of London or some similar group.

    In my opinion, Buffet is a master at playing the media and the public for fools and this is just another example.


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