Warren Buffett Will Pay $1 Billion to Fan with Perfect March Madness Bracket

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterJanuary 21, 2014

AP Images

What’s a perfect March Madness bracket worth? In Warren Buffett’s mind, about $1 billion.

According to Rob Wile of Business Insider, Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has teamed up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert to offer college basketball fans a shot at becoming a billionaire.

The offer is simple: If you fill out a flawless, twinkling NCAA men's basketball March Madness bracket—you win all the enchiladas. And by "enchiladas," I mean, $1 billion, to be "paid out in 40 annual installments of $25 million," as Wile notes.

Indeed, there are certain small stipulations that come should a contestant win the prize money, although the small print hardly dampers winning this ridiculously large sum of money. 

Pictured: Dan Gilbert
Pictured: Dan GilbertTony Dejak/Associated Press

Should a contestant manage this ridiculously unlikely feat (the chances of filling out the perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion—a nine with 18 zeroes), the sum will be doled out in the aforementioned installments.

The winner would also have the option to settle for a single, $500 million lump sum prize should they wish to forego the installment plan. In the unlikely case of two winners filling out perfect brackets, the prize money would be split down the middle. 

"It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients," Jay Farner, Quicken Loans president and chief marketing officer, said. "This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that bill."

While the chances of someone actually managing to hit this jackpot are low, there’s more good news to be had: Quicken Loans will be awarding $100,000 each to contestants with the 20 closest but imperfect brackets. So, if you get painfully close to perfection and fall short, there’s still big money to be won. 

Runners-up face one stipulation regarding their $100,000: It must be put toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. In addition to the prize money offered to private individuals, Quicken Loans will donate $1 million to nonprofit organizations in inner-city Detroit and inner-city Cleveland. 

The contest is only open to U.S. citizens who are 21 and older. It begins March 3 and is free of charge. Quicken Loans has yet to provide a URL for the contest website, and it urges those interested to check their Facebook page and Twitter account for further information as March nears. 

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