Warren Buffet’s Impossible Billion$ Challenge


The famous investor and multi-billionaire
Warren Buffet created news in 2014 when he announced that he would award 1 Billion dollar
prize money to anyone who would correctly predict the winners of all the 63 matches
of NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, that is a Perfect Bracket. He was holding the contest in partnership
with Quicken Loans, a mortgage company, and Yahoo. Although the amount of prize money at stake
this time was probably biggest in the history of any contest ever, betting in college basketball
tournaments is not uncommon. In fact, this practice is famously known as
bracketology and it’s often been referred to as the national pastime. The Former American President Barack Obama
even started a Presidential tradition of choosing projected winners in his oval office every
year while going live on ESPN’s show “Barack-etology”. President Donald Trump ended this 8-year long
tradition by declining ESPN’s offer this year. But if you are familiar with Warren Buffet,
you’ll know that he’s not the kind of guy who would risk losing a billion dollar just
for fun. He still drives a modest car and lives in
a home he bought in 1958. Apart from all the free publicity, the mortgage
company was getting valuable housing data of contestants for free, a yahoo account was
required for contesting and at the end there wasn’t really much chance of winning the contest
because the odds of picking a perfect bracket is insanely low. Since each game can have one of two winners,
one slot can be filled in 2 ways, 63 slots can be filled in 9.2 quintillion ways and
only of which will be the lucky one. This makes the odds of picking a perfect bracket
one in 9.2 quintillions, that’s a nine, followed by 18 zeroes. But not every team has an equal chance of
winning a match, this brings to something around (one in 128 billion) depending on one’s
knowledge of the game. To put this in perspective, it is more likely
to get 37 heads in a row in coin flipping and correctly predict the winning party in
every presidential election through 2160 than it is to get a perfect bracket. Unsurprisingly, no one won the contest. Ever since then, Buffett has offered the competition
on his own to his employees only and has also introduced several smaller prizes. In 2017, A West Virginia factory worker won
$100,000 for correctly picking the first 29 games of the tournament. He also picked the winners of the 31st and
32nd games correctly but wrongly picking 30th game cost him $900,000 million.

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