Warren Buffett, Dan Gilbert offering $1 billion for perfect bracket
Someone's been watching Austin Powers.
Pretty sure no one's ever picked a perfect bracket in the history of March Madness. The odds of doing it are supposedly 1 in 9.2 quintillion, as if that number is even interpretable. Even Lloyd Christmas isn't optimistic at this prospect. So with that in mind, this is a pretty brilliant PR tactic to earn some chatter.
Business Insider was the first to report Warren Buffett -- one of the richest men in America -- has teamed up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert -- another one of the richest men in America -- to award a Dr. Evil-approved $1 billion this year, should anyone submit an NCAA tournament bracket that goes flawless in their forecast for the best event in American sports. The two men are doing it through their companies: Berkshire Hathaway and Quicken Loans.
The bummer? Those billion bones will be spread out over 40 years at $25 million a pop, unless the winner (and just a reminder, you've got a better chance at leapfrogging Andrew Wiggins in this year's draft than you do picking every one of these games correctly) can opt to take $500 million and call it a day. Either way, can you imagine the taxes? Ugh. I know.
"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."
Quicken will also donate $1 million to inner-city Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations.
There are other prizes in the hopper. According to Quicken Loans' Facebook post, "Twenty (20) First Prizes of $100,000 each to the owners of the top twenty scoring brackets. Winners determined after end of tournament." The catch? That $100,000 will be awarded in the form of "buying, refinancing or remodeling a home." Hey, it's nice, but there are conditions.
The Wall Street Journal was able to get Buffett for a quick quote about all this hubbub.
Buffett said he fills out NCAA tournament brackets and, like most casual basketball fans, isn't always proud of his picks. "I was not notably successful on the basketball court, and I'm not notably successful in selecting winners," said Buffett, who roots for Creighton's basketball team, which is also based in Omaha, Neb.
If this March Madness does produce a major miracle, and a contestant happens to be one game from a 10-figure payday, Buffett says he would accompany him to the national championship on April 7. "He and I will probably be pulling for different teams," Buffett said. "I'm not eager to write a check for $1 billion."
You're eligible to win this folkloric picks plunder if you're 21 or older and live in the United States. As is the case with every NCAA tourney pool, you gotta get your picks in by noon on the Wednesday of the tournament. And don't make Warren hassle you and be sending reminder texts at 11:30. Nobody likes that person.
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