Buffett offers $1 billion for perfect NCAA bracket

Berkshire Hathaway and Quicken Loans are dangling an impressive prize, but be warned: The odds of pulling it off are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 21, 2014 1:18PM
Michigan's Trey Burke & Tim Hardaway Jr. during the NCAA semifinal game in Atlanta on Saturday (© Charlie Neibergall/AP)By Rob Wile, Business Insider

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and Dan Gilbert's Quicken Loans are partnering to award anyone who fills out a perfect 2014 Men's NCAA Tournament bracket with $1 billion.

The prize will be paid out in 40 annual installments of $25 million. If there's more than one winner they'll have to share. The winner or winners can also take or split up an immediate $500 million lump sum payment.

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

He added: "We've seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat." 

In addition to the grand prize, Quicken will award $100,000 each to the contest's 20 most accurate "imperfect" brackets submitted by qualified entrants in the contest to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. Quicken will also donate $1 million to inner-city Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations. Quicken is based in Detroit, but Gilbert owns the Cleveland Cavaliers and the city's Horseshoe Casino.

The odds are not ideal -- a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance.

But it costs nothing to fill out so you should probably do it. The contest starts March 3. "March Madness" kicks off March 18.

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Tags: BRK.A
Jan 21, 2014 4:15PM
where do I get the form to fill out....?
Jan 21, 2014 1:28PM
I'd be happy with the $100k prize - we should be able to remodel the whole house with that...
Jan 21, 2014 3:20PM
That's a huge prize against a butt load of odds!
Jan 21, 2014 5:22PM
I heard Goldman Sacks also offered one million dollars to anyone that could correctly fill out the NCAA brackets,but in their typical fashion the payout was slightly different.Goldmans payout to the winner was one dollar a year for a million years. You got to love the wall street gangsters.
Jan 22, 2014 3:50AM
For all those people saying why hasn't he donated anything?
You ignorant people. In his lifetime he has donated over $30 billion dollars. In 2012, he donated over $3 billion
Jan 22, 2014 8:14AM
I love these ignorant posters! Warren Buffett has donated over 30 Billion! Yes 30 Billion! What have you done to help others? Taking from the system isnt considered helping others...people that complain about a man that started with nothing make me sick! Keep sponging off the system eventually someone will rip you from the tit!
Jan 21, 2014 5:23PM
Damn, I'm in and so will my entire family and friends and even people I hate. Crap for that kinda money I will pool together loved ones and the hated ones in hopes someone hits. Yea the odds are stacked but you never know. There was someone a year or 2 ago that got all the brackets right. No different than playing the lotto and this is free
Jan 23, 2014 11:51PM
He is laughing at all you people,him,gates,soros,they make a contribution,declare a tax benefit and get infront of tv camera to show how benevolent they are while they manipulate,the stock market,our laws to their benefit,and laugh.A couple of years ago,Buffet contributed $50 billion to the Gates Foundation,took the tax break,Gates,invested the money in the Buffett  investments,getting himself and his wife appointed to the Birkshire Hathaway board with pay and benefits,they donate minor interest and dividends to any charity,they can capitalize on by getting the mugs in the tv news.They are not philanthropic,they're like celebrities .Buffet donates to an organization that supplies water to small communities in Asia and Africa,but Coke does this as a good corporate citizen and he doesn't donate that much.Much of their money just manipulates laws and corrupt politicians.
The money and effort i donate are not for public broadcasting ,i have no need for notoriety.
Jan 22, 2014 4:48AM
A free shot at a cool Billion, regardless of the Odds, why the heck not. Has anyone ever picked all games right?

"brackets submitted by qualified entrant"

So what's the catch?
Jan 22, 2014 3:52PM
Jan 22, 2014 10:44AM
Couldn't he pick something other than sports?
Jan 22, 2014 10:46AM

If Buffet is preparted to give away $1B, I'd rather see him give $1K each, to a million of the poorest "47%'ers" in the US.  

It's not a lot of money.  But, it IS a "stimulus."  And, it WOULD do just that - stimulate.

No doubt that some of it would be wasted on booze and drugs.

However, no doubt that much of it would be for buying food, clothes, presents for children, gas, and even vacation.  A lot of tax activity, mostly in the form of sales taxes, which would benefit gov't and social programs, would be generated from this act.

A single act of kindness would go a long ways to building a better society.

Jan 22, 2014 1:25PM

Does Warren Buffet try to tell you commenters what to do with your money?

This is an opportunity for many who would try to win it, rather than criticize the man for the offer.

I'm in and I'll sign up on March 3 when the contest starts.

Jan 22, 2014 11:33AM
this is a horrible idea... think about the bribes that could happen...   'ok, you five starters, throw the game and there is ten million each in it for you'
Jan 22, 2014 9:42AM
If Warren Buffet is the concerned citizen he want's everyone to believe he is by paying more taxes and all. Why don't he give that billion dollars to his taxes? Or better yet. He's all for redistribution of wealth. Why not give it to the unemployed?
Jan 22, 2014 9:16AM
IT is a silly game that no one is going to win.  Who is not qualified to pick teams from each bracket?
Jan 21, 2014 4:06PM

You have to pick teams for the brackets, seed them and hope you are right? Then you have to pick winners of all games and hope you are right?


The odds of  guessing the teams and seeding the teams in the proper order are pretty slim. Hardly worth the effort to waste the time to do.


I will not be participating.

Jan 21, 2014 4:21PM

I wonder if Warren Buffett would pay off my student loans! :) I'll be dead before they are paid off.

Jan 21, 2014 3:53PM
always money for sports, there needs to be  a 25% tax  on sports to pay for the trashed  earth
Jan 21, 2014 5:55PM
When do we roll the old guy, redistribute that wealth back into the economy and move into the 21st Century? Commercialized college sports... yea, now there is recovery if ever we could believe in it. Warren... why? 
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