Warren Buffett Will Give You $1 Billion If You Make A Perfect March Madness Bracket

Your odds of winning: 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

Warren Buffett Will Give You $1 Billion If You Make A Perfect March Madness Bracket
[Image: Flickr user acidpix]

Just how impressive is a perfectly completed March Madness bracket? According to Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans, a billion big ones.

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.)

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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