Berkshire Hathaway and Quicken Loans have teamed up to offer a $1 billion prize paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million, or a $500 million lump sum. If there is more than one winner, the amount is shared among the recipients.
"Millions of people play brackets every March, so why not take a shot at becoming $1 billion richer for doing so," said Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, in a statement.
Quicken Loans will also offer 20 runners-up with the most accurate brackets $100,000 to use toward buying, refinancing, or remodeling a home. Registration for the competition is open March 3 to 19.
Your odds of a perfect bracket? 1 in 9.2 quintillion--that's 18 figures behind the nine. You're more likely to hit four holes-in-one in a single round of golf.
(As some readers have pointed out, your chances are greatly improved if you know a little bit about March Madness--for example, that a No. 16 seed is unlikely to beat a No. 1 seed. "The 1-in-9.2-quintillion estimate is based on the assumption that each guess of a particular game outcome is like an independent toss of a coin. Of course, if you tweak the assumptions, you get different answers," says Cornell University math professor John Pike. Jay Bergen, a math professor at DePaul University, says the odds are more like 1 in 128 billion for those who know a bit about the tournament.)
[Image: Flickr user acidpix]