Billion Dollar Basket
Helen Carey '14
What do March Madness and a conglomerate holding company have in common? Not much, unless of course, you’re multi-billionaire, Warren Buffet. Every year, 68 collegiate basketball teams from around the country play in the single- elimination NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship tournament, popularly known as “March Madness.” Millions of Americans involve themselves in the festivities, not only through watching the games, but also through betting on the brackets. Whether with friends, family, colleagues, or classmates, “Bracketology” is now considered a national pastime. Generally those who guess the closest to the actual bracket, or whoever guesses the winning team, wins the pot.
However, this year, Warren Buffet put a new spin on the “Madness.” Buffet’s multinational conglomerate holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, partnered with mortgage lender Quicken Loans to offer $1 billion to whoever boasts a perfect bracket. Berkshire Hathaway will pay out the money in $25 million annual installments for 40 years, or $500 million right away. The rules are simple: starting on March 3rd and ending March 19th, anyone 21 or older can enter for free using the Quicken Loans url (to be released soon) and type in his or her bracket. However, only one person per household is allowed to enter and only the first 10 million applicants will be considered. Once the guesses are in, you sit back and hope for your 63 wins to occur.
Luck seems to be the only common denominator in past years and this year is no exception. The odds of creating a perfect “March Madness” bracket are 1: 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or 1 in 9.2 quintillion.
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