Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Billion Dollar Bracket

I love March Madness. Those first two days of games are some of my favorite days of the year. I watch college basketball all season long and when those brackets are finally released on Selection Sunday, I take great joy in filling in the bracket. I typically do one on gut instinct and then one with a bit of analysis. Typically I do OK, but the tournament is just so freaking unpredictable. One year I got all four teams in the Final Four correct, and picked the national championship correct too, but the rounds before that were nothing short of a disaster.

With 68 teams in the tournament, the odds of making a perfect bracket are astronomical.  According to Mashable and the USA Today, your odds of randomly picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. I don't even know how many zeroes that is.

This year, Quicken Loans is creating a contest, insured by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, in which a $1 billion prize will be offered to anyone who completes a perfect bracket. That means picking all 67 games correctly, and the prize is $1,000,000,000. You can take it in 40 annual installments of $25 million, or one lump $500 million sum.

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