Play March Madness This Year, And Warren Buffett Could Make You a Billionaire


In what might be the best trolling of college basketball fans ever, Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert are offering $1 billion to anyone that can pick a perfect bracket for this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. That’s billion, with a b.

The payout will be made in 40 annual installments of $25 million – or if anyone really does pick a perfect March Madness bracket, they can select to take $500 million on the spot. 

But don’t get your hopes up just yet. The odds of actually picking every March Madness tournament match-up correctly are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. You have a better chance at doing just about anything else you can imagine than getting that billion-dollar bracket. So Buffett probably won’t be losing any sleep over his $1 billion “gamble.” 

The contest might have some asking: couldn’t the money be put to better use than taunting college hoops fans? If Buffett really wants to throw around a billion dollars, couldn’t he offer it to a cause a little more worthy than one sports fan who got extremely lucky? Sure, I suppose there’s a point there. But Buffett isn’t really putting up $1 billion – again, the chances of someone actually winning the contest are essentially zero – and some money will indeed go to charitable causes: Quicken Loans will give $1 million to nonprofit groups in Detroit and Cleveland. 

In addition, the top 20 brackets, perfect or not, will receive $100,000 each for purchasing or remodeling a house. So there will be some payout, just not the $1 billion that’s getting all the attention.

You have to be a United States resident and at least 21 years old to enter, but other than that the contest is free. Making $1 billion has never looked so easy and been so hard.

I know I’ll be submitting a bracket. Even with 1 in 9.2 quintillion odds, there’s still a chance, right? RIGHT?