The NCAA men’s college basketball March Madness tournament is about to begin, and everyone who signed-up for the chance to win $1 billion from Warren Buffett has their fingers crossed that they picked a perfect bracket. Unfortunately, the odds say that there aren’t going to be any new billionaires to add to the list of richest people in the world. This is how I predict the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge will play out across the US for all those who are participating in it.
March 20, 2014
“I can’t believe that I’m already out of the running for the $1 billion prize.”
March 21, 2014
“Do any of my friends still have a perfect bracket?”
March 22, 2014
“Do I know anyone who knows somebody who can still win the $1 billion?”
March 23, 2014
“Is there anyone left that still has a shot of winning the $1 billion?”
April 7, 2014
“Did anyone win the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge?”
The answer to this last question will be “yes,” but it won’t be an individual who’s a winner. In fact, the winners of this contest have already been crowned even before the tournament has begun. It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise who they are.
They will generate a minimum of 15,000,000 new leads for their services, and probably a lot more. Think about all those people who filled in the first page of the form giving Quicken Loans their email, current address, plus answers to home ownership and mortgage questions, while thinking that the sign-up was just that one page. They then quit when they realized signing-up was much more complicated than they first thought. Even if the person didn’t sign-up all the way to participate, and therefore isn’t registered in the 15 million contest limit, Quicken Loans still has their valuable personal information for advertising. Even better, it’s all highly accurate information. Who is going to sign-up using a false email and contact address when there’s $1 billion on the line?
In order to take part in the contest, participants have to create a Yahoo account. Millions of people who would have never considered creating an account with Yahoo have done so over the past week in hopes of becoming rich. Even better, these new members aren’t only sports fans. The huge prize money has encouraged people from all walks of life to give the bracket challenge a chance.
Granted, not all of these people will begin using Yahoo as their main website, but there is a good chance that there will be a significant number that do. It will also re-introduce the site to a lot of people who gravitated away from it in the past decade. All this adds up to a big win for Yahoo.
I know that the first basketball games haven’t even started, but I’m already willing to call Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway investment group winners. They pocketed millions of dollars to insure the payout of $1 billion on the off chance that someone did pick a perfect bracket. It’s not going to happen, and they aren’t going to have to pay out. Buffett isn’t one of the savviest investors in the world for nothing.
20 Best Bracket Participants
While the main focus is on the $1 billion, the winners are going to be the 20 participants that have the best overall brackets from all those who played. Each will be getting $100,000 toward their current mortgage or buying a new home. While $100,000 isn’t $1 billion, I am willing to bet that each of them will consider themselves winners of the contest.
Update: Not a single person participating in the Billion $ Bracket contest was able to pick a perfect bracket for the first round meaning that nobody won the $1 billion prize.