Update: There will be no Billion $ Brackets in 2015
The 2014 NCAA mens college basketball tournament is now over with UConn as the new national champion. UConn wasn’t the only winner of this tournament. There were also 20 lucky participants of the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge who will be going home with the runner-up prize of $100,000 each. The immediate question of many March Madness fans is, “Will there be a chance to win $1 billion next year?”
Warren Buffet would like to see another Billion Dollar Bracket in 2015, telling the Dan Patrick show that he would “love to do it again.” Ultimately, it’ll depend on Quicken Loans to decide if this was a one-time event, or if it will become a yearly scramble to try and mint a new billionaire. With all the publicity and leads it generated for the company, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t want to do it again. If they decide to pass, there should be plenty of other companies that would want to jump in to take over the contest.
Although the game created a huge buzz and had millions of participants, nobody even came close to winning the $1 billion prize. Nobody was even able to pick a perfect bracket for the first-round of the tournament, let alone the entire tournament. It only took until game 25 of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament before every contestant was eliminated from winning the grand prize. It really shouldn’t have come as a shock since the odds of anyone actually picking a perfect bracket were so astronomical.
In addition to wanting to have a 2015 version of the Billion Dollar Bracket contest, Buffett wants to make it so that everyone isn’t so quickly eliminated. He said he was disappointed that the challenge didn’t last longer. As he noted, “I would have preferred to see it go a little — go quite a bit longer. But not all the way, but quite a bit longer.”
To that end, Buffett would like to make the chance of winning the $1 billion easier. He would like to make the challenge “somewhat easier to enter and somewhat easier to win.” He said that if they decide to go forward with the challenge again in the future that it can be modified in some way so that participants had a better shot at winning than they did in 2014. He even teased that if he gets the green-light to underwrite the contest again, they’ll come up with something even better than they did this year. What, exactly, will be is anyone’s guess, but if they can come up with something better than a $1 billion prize, they’re sure to create the buzz they did this year once again.
Had someone won the contest, they would have received a lump sum of $500 million, or had the money given to them in installments over a 40 year period receiving $25 million a year. When asked if he would have minded had someone picked a perfect bracket, Buffett surprisingly said it would have been fine. Noting that large payouts are part of the insurance industry, he said, “It would not have bothered me to payout the billion.”
You can listen to the Warren Buffett interview with the Dan Patrick show below: