Unsurprisingly, no one filled out a perfect bracket this year and Warren Buffett didn't have to pay the unfathomable (for us) billion-dollar prize.
Pretty good news for the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, right?
Not exactly. In an interview with Dan Patrick on Monday, via CBSSports.com's Mike Singer, Buffett explained that he wouldn't have minded to dole out that kind of money, while next year's competition will be easier to win:
I wouldn't have minded doing it. We've paid out big on insurance policies in the past – we paid out $3 billion on Katrina, so that's just part of the insurance business. It would not have bothered me to pay out the billion. ...
...Wait until next year though. I think we're going to come up with something better next year. We'll make it a lot easier to enter. There were some questions that were a little tough, I thought. We'll make it easier to win but I think we'll have an exciting prize.
Here's a look at the entire interview, where Buffett further establishes himself as the coolest and most genuinely likeable multibillionaire you'll ever listen to:
As far as the bracket goes, it's not really surprising that none came out perfect. According to DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen, the odds of going 63-for-63 are about 1-in-128 billion. You know, give or take a couple billion.
Heck, as ESPN's John Diver noted, via Chris Isidore of CNN Money, only one person in the last seven years of ESPN's contest has gotten the first round completely perfect. Someone (who didn't enter Buffett's billion-dollar challenge) accomplished that feat this year, as well, but that went down the drain with six misses in the round of 32.
So, yeah, if Buffett wants to give away a billion dollars—and let's not kid ourselves here; of course he does—he's going to have to really ease up on the stipulations next year.
How he might go about doing that is unclear. Maybe allow a certain amount of losses, or perhaps eliminate the round of 64 and lower the prize?
Either way, you can count me—and millions of others around the world—in for signing up again next year, and maybe this time, I can make it past the first game.
No matter what happens, though, good guy Warren Buffett will undoubtedly come out on top because, well, that's just what he does.