Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is partnering with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett to award $1 billion to anyone who fills out a perfect NCAA tournament bracket (the initiative is called the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, insured by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.) Per the Plain Dealer:
“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?” Quicken Loans president Jay Farner said in a press release issued by the company. “We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat.”
How impressive? According to the short-form official rules, the odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 4,294,967,296.
According to those short-form rules published on the Quicken Loans Facebook page, the contest is open to legal residents of the U.S. 21 years and older. No purchase is necessary. One entry per household. The grand prize will be payable in annual payments of $25 million for 40 years or as a one-time payment of $500 million. There also will be 20 first-place prizes of $100,000 each for the best brackets that are not perfect to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home.
According to the ESPN website, John Diver, director of product development for ESPN Fantasy, said not a single bracket among the almost 30 million entries submitted to ESPN’s Tournament Challenge over the past 16 years has been perfect. “I don’t want to say it’s impossible,” Diver said, “but it’s basically impossible.”