Why is the number so big? It’s pretty simple math. There are 2 possible outcomes for each game (win or lose) and there are 64 games as part of the tournament. That means that the total possible outcomes are 2x2x2x2…63 times (because all teams will lose at least one game except the winner of the last game, who is the champion). While multiplying a small number by 2 wouldn’t seem to create such a huge number, it does exactly that when done enough times. If you want to see how these odds are calculated, there is a great video below which explains it in a way that anyone can understand:
With the odds so stacked against you, why even bother to play? While there are a number of reasons that it’s worthwhile, there are two main ones that make participating worthwhile.
First, unlike the lottery, you don’t have to wager any of your own money to participate in this contest. If you had to pay to enter, it wouldn’t be worth your time or money. Since there is no cost involved in making the bracket picks, however, you aren’t risking anything but a little time.
Secondly, it’s not an all or nothing contest. If the contest were only the $1 billion prize or nothing, it would be questionable if even filling out the bracket would be worth the time. But this contest is offering more. The 20 best brackets will win a $100,000 prize put toward their current mortgage, or the buying of a new home. That means that there will be winners, and your guesses have just as much opportunity to be the best as the other people participating.
With that in mind, give the contest a shot. You risk none of you own money, and even though the odds are against you winning the top $1 billion prize, there is a chance for you to walk away $100,000 richer if you choose a great bracket.