March Madness Contest Offers $1 Billion

Leave it to Warren Buffett to take March Madness up a notch by creating a Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge for this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which will run from March 18 to April 7.

The contest is open to the first 10 million entries from American citizens age 21 or older, and before you get too excited keep in mind that the odds that any of these entries will correctly pick the winner of all 63 games are an estimated 1 in 9.2 quintillion (yes, that is a real number).

Nonetheless, it is still worth a shot given that the top 20 entries that come the closest to perfection will receive $100,000 to be applied to purchasing, remodeling, or refinancing a home. Handicappers and fans have already started eyeballing the March Madness future odds to see which long shots have a chance to make noise.

The contest is tied into Buffett's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, and teams him  up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who also owns online mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

While these two billionaires may be looking to add another member to their club, they also know just how much buzz this promotion will generate around the time-honored tradition of picking your bracket for the NCAA Tournament.

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March Madness gets underway on March 16, which is better known as Selection Sunday. This is when the final pieces are put into place on the NCAA Tournament’s official bracket and we know which teams are playing when and where.

An official entry for this contest is due by 12pm ET on Wednesday, March 19, so the good news is that you do not have to worry about picking the correct winner for the four games that make up the tournament’s First Round.

The real madness of March gets underway much earlier in the month with a full complement of conference tournaments that reward the winner with an automatic spot in the Big Dance.

Some of the mid-major conference tournaments get underway as early as the first full week of March, while the major conferences will be in action the following week leading right up to Selection Sunday.

If you really want to do your homework to try and become the next billionaire by picking a perfect bracket, then play close attention to all the action in the conference tournaments to see which teams come into the NCAA Tournament hot and which ones appear primed for an early exit.

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