Still hoping to cash in on Warren Buffet’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge? Most Americans are already out of the running.
Quicken Loans plans to award $1 billion to any fan who manages to craft the perfect bracket for this year’s NCAA tournament; in other words, they’d have to correctly predict the outcome of every single tournament game. Buffet and his company, Berkshire Hathaway, agreed to serve as the challenge’s underwriters.
From the beginning, the odds of winning the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge weren’t exactly favorable. According to the game’s official website, participants had a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of having a perfect bracket. But USA Today's For The Win blog notes that the University of Dayton’s upset victory over Ohio State may have knocked out millions of contestants even earlier than expected.
Nearly 84 percent of all users picked Ohio State to defeat Dayton, according to statistics taken from Yahoo’s Tourney Pick ‘Em game. In other words, four out of five brackets have already lost their chance to claim the $1 billion prize. Meanwhile, ESPN publicist Mike Humes notes that just 18,741, or 0.17 percent, of its 11 million players managed to correctly predict the outcomes of all 16 of Thursday’s games.
The mass ruination of March Madness brackets isn’t a surprise. During last year’s NCAA tournament, ESPN.com revealed that none of its 11 million brackets made it through the first slate of games unscathed. Furthermore, USA Today notes that if every single person on earth filled out 100 brackets for this year’s tournament, it could still take 13 million years to produce a perfect bracket.
Some March Madness fans are already attempting to “negotiate” with Buffet in order to keep their dreams of wealth alive. In a hilarious blog entry, John Swansburg, the editorial director at Slate and owner of one of the few remaining perfect brackets, offers to “take [the] pressure off” Buffet and cash in now in exchange for $10 million.
“I urge you to consider my offer, and to consider it quickly, before I come to my senses. Do you really want to negotiate with me when I'm 32 for 32? I wouldn't want to negotiate with me then. Let's do a deal today and both walk away happy,” he writes.
We suppose that it’s worth a shot.