Warren Buffets Adds New Dimension to this Year’s March Madness

If you’re a human being living on planet Earth, you could do a whole lot with a billion dollars. Buy a huge house in San Francisco. Make some smart investments and live off the interest for the rest of your life. Buy a small Island nation. Purchase a Zeppelin and live the rest of your days sailing over the world’s continents. Stuff like that.

Well, if you’re any good at predicting basketball games, a billion dollars may very well be in your future. In conjunction with Quicken Loans ‘s Dan Gilbert, Warren Buffet, the world’s fourth most wealthy man, is offering a billion dollars to anyone with a perfect bracket for this year’s March Madness. According to news reports, the money will be given up in either a single payment of $500 million or forty installments of $25 million. To put that in perspective: that’s forty installments of more money than I will ever make in my writing career. Ever.

For those unfamiliar, March Madness occurs between the second week of March and the first week of April, during which time the NCAA’s Men’s and Women’s college teams compete to become the newest champions of college basketball. Every year, the event offers up an opportunity for friends and colleagues to fill out brackets—their predictions for who will win which games—and make bets about who will come closest. Apart from being a great way to lose money, brackets add an additional element of personal loss to the games’ proceedings.

According to Business Insider, Jeff Bergen, a DePaul University math professor, calculates the odds of guessing correctly for all 63 games is exactly 1 in 9.2 quintillion. That’s eighteen zeros. It also points out that Carl Bia Lic at the Wall street Journal calculated that, even for someone with more expansive knowledge of the game and the various teams’ strengths, your chances are still only one in 772 billion.

The article goes on to point out that you have a better chance of randomly selecting the minute—out of the last ten thousand years—that Julias Caesar died.

So maybe the odds of someone getting a billion dollars are a little slim. And it isn’t like Warren Buffer is the kind of guy to make a bad investment. However, there’s still hope.

The competition’s Facebook page says that the twenty applicants who come the closest to the winning bracket will each receive 100,000 dollars. Still more than I will probably make in my writing career.

So, if you’re someone who likes to live on the wild side, or just, y’know, is really into basketball, this might be your chance to make it big. The context begins on March 3rd and ends on March 19th and is restricted to one entry per household. The grand prize, however, is only available to the first 10,000,00, though, so you better act fast.