College basketball fans whose route to getting rich involved winning the $1 billion bracket challenge will instead have to pursue another avenue.
According to CNN Money's Ben Rooney, the brainchild of Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Quicken Loans and Yahoo is dead in the water. Rooney reported that a series of lawsuits between the three parties led to the challenge's stoppage.
Quicken Loans spokesperson Aaron Emerson released a statement to Benzinga's Javier Hasse (via Yahoo Finance) that read: "Instead of repeating the bracket contest, we are now turning our attention to something new and innovative that will carry on our heritage of launching unexpected and engaging events that will take the nation by storm again."
In truth, it's not like anybody had a chance of winning the challenge last year anyway. USA Today's Rick Hampson spoke to a mathematician from DePaul who estimated the likelihood of a fan correctly guessing all 63 NCAA tournament games of the main draw was 9,223,372,036,854,775,808-to-1.
Last March, Buffett expressed a desire to run the contest again and actually make the road to riches a little easier to navigate. In an interview with Dan Patrick (via CBSSports.com's Mike Singer), Buffett said:
I'd like to modify it a little bit so people have an even better shot to win it than they had this year. 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.
The elimination of the $1 billion challenge is a little bit disappointing, but it certainly won't dampen the anticipation for the Big Dance this year.
Check out B/R's Free Bracket Challenge once the field is set for 2015 March Madness.