There’s plenty $1 billion can buy. Several mansions complete with several expansive moats, an NBA team on the cheap, and basically a brand new life.
But what are the actual odds anyone in the world can take home the grand prize in the “Billion Dollar” Bracket Challenge?
Quicken Loans will award $1 billion to anyone who accurately picks the perfect NCAA men’s basketball bracket this month, with acclaimed billionaire Warren Buffet and his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway acting as underwriters.
According to the official rules, the exact odds of a perfect bracket are 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or 1:9.2 quintillion, which has 18 total zeros and is three levels higher than a billion.
Participants have better odds of winning the Powerball lottery at 1:125 million, and if everyone on Earth filled out 100 brackets in theory it could take 13 million years for one perfect bracket to emerge, as reported by USA Today.
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In other words it’s nearly impossible. Pulling off a perfect bracket means accurately predicting the outcome of 63 total games for a tournament known for upsets and unpredictability.
Many have chosen the Final Four teams correctly, but what typically busts the brackets of even the savviest and most informed college basketball fan are the upsets. Last year, Wichita State essentially came out nowhere as a No. 9 seed to take the West Region from the likes of perennial tournament schools like Gonzaga, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.
The same can be said of George Mason in 2006, Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 and Butler in 2010, all three quickly eviscerating the brackets of so many office pools.
Yes, the odds aren’t in anyone’s favor, but the Challenge does have one thing over the typical office pools. It’s free. Signing up for the “Billion $ Bracket” Challenge can be done here, via Yahoo! Sports.
The grand prize will be paid out in $25 million installments over 40 years, or one lump sum of $500 million. For those close to perfection, 20 $100,000 first prizes will be handed out, but they can only go towards the purchase, financing or remodeling of a home.