Buffett Offers $1 Million Per Year in March Madness Bet

Warren Buffett is called the “Oracle of Omaha” because of his ability to predict stocks and understand businesses. However, this year he’s putting the pressure on Berkshire employees not to predict stocks—but college basketball. Last week, Buffett announced that he would pay $1 million a year for life to the Berkshire employee who successfully picks the Sweet 16 teams of the NCAA tournament in March.

Currently, Berkshire Hathaway employs more than 367,000 people across all of its many companies. In past years, Buffett said that the company had around 85,000 entrants in the pool last year, and this year he’s hoping to break 100,000. Of course, with $1 million per year on the line, it’s probably a safe bet that he’ll hit the mark.

While it’s definitely possible for someone to get lucky and correctly pick the right combination, it’s something of a long shot. According to ESPN, out of the 11.57 million brackets entered in 2015, only 14 had the winning combination. In fact, there are an estimated 282 trillion possible combinations.

Buffett did say that if there are no winners, then he’ll give $100,000 to whoever gets the furthest. In fact, this isn’t the first time he has done such a bet with his company, although this is one of the better wagers. So no matter how you look at it, someone is guaranteed to win something.

“Last year, we had two fellows that tied — one of them knew a lot about basketball, the other didn’t know anything about basketball — but they each got $50,000 out of it,” Buffett said.

This isn’t even the best bet that Buffett has ever made. In fact, in 2014, the billionaire offered $1 billion to anyone who could correctly guess all 64 teams. Although that bet was open to the public, this year’s bet is only available to employees of Berkshire Hathaway or one of its companies. You can check out the full list of companies here.

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