March Madness: A perfect bracket will earn you $1 billion


Some lucky person out there could be filling out a billion-dollar bracket for March Madness this year.

A really, really lucky person. Because that’s what it is going to take -- a lot of luck -- to correctly pick the winners of every single game in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and claim the 10-figure prize that’s being offered by the companies owned by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and fellow filthy rich guy Warren Buffett.

Of course, some basketball knowledge might come in handy, too ... nah, it’s all luck. After all, the chances of filling out a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion, according to USA Today.


That’s probably why Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Gilbert’s Quicken Loans are willing making such an offer -- that and the chance to have a little fun with one of the country’s favorite sporting events.

“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.

“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.”

If there does happen to be a winner, he or she will be paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million. Or that person can opt to take a mere $500 million in one immediate payment. Also, Quicken Loans will give out $100,000 to the 20 most accurate brackets submitted to the contest, as well $1 million to nonprofit organizations.

Buffett told Wall Street Journal that if someone somehow ends up with a perfect bracket going into the national championship on April 7 that he would attend the big game with that person.

But, Buffett said, “he and I will probably be pulling for different teams,” Buffett said. “I’m not eager to write a check for $1 billion.”