March Madness Bracket and the $1 Billion I Never Had

Blog / Monday, March 24th, 2014

If you didn’t hear, Quicken Loans is giving away a $1 Billion to one person who picks a perfect bracket for March Madness. This is backed by Warren Buffet. Really, if you didn’t hear, you should pay attention to get rich quick articles on the web.

Granted, the odds of winning are slim to none:

Odds of Winning. The odds of winning the Grand Prize depend on the outcome of each of the Tournament games and the skill of each Entrant. Mathematical odds of winning the Grand Prize are 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808, which may vary depending upon the knowledge and skill of the Entrant, and the odds of winning a First Prize depend upon the outcome of each of the Tournament games, number of eligible Entries received during the Entry Window and the skill of each Entrant.

But I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring because $1 Billion. Also, it was only open to the first 15 million people who signed up; I managed to get in that so no big deal. But I didn’t win. I knew after the first day of games. I never was going to win.

Anyone who knows me, especially around this time of year, knows I absolutely abhor basketball. I’ve never been good at it because I never understood the point of it. That’s why I don’t bother following it. But if someone puts an easy dollar sign in front of it, I’ll grab for it.

So, that being said, I knew nothing about basketball when I made my picks and it showed. I made my picks based on schools I had heard about around this time of the year before, possibly. I know some people pick based on mascots and some pick based on colors or other silly methods. I chose to go with my gut. My gut is dumb.

Here’s my bracket, as of writing:

Danny’s Definitive Bracket

Clearly, I’m terrible at this. I don’t have time for stats or colors or mascots. I filled out two brackets (another for work) and each took me about five minutes. No harm done, really. But that billion would have been nice.

This morning, my coworkers and I imagined the scenario where we had perfect brackets up to the final. I proposed the thought that it’d be the worst day for that person. By the end of the day, they would either be a billion richer or have barely missed it. That’s a stressful day, if you ask me.

Then I thought of the perfect way to handle that day. Double down on your betting. If you’ve got a billion dollars potentially coming in if one team wins, go out and make a few bets which would net you $10,000 each. But not too many because you’re going to be betting against yourself. That way, regardless of the outcome of the day’s game, you come out on top. If your bracket falls apart in the last ten seconds of the game, at least those $10k bets will pay out a bit to help console you. If your bracket holds together, then you lose a few 10k bets from your billion. Chump change and a small price to pay for peace of mind (when you’re an instant billionaire).

Did you set up a bracket to win a billion? If so, how quick did you lose that billion? If you haven’t lost that billion, we should grab a beer. I’ll even buy it.

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