Registration has just opened for Warren Buffett’s $1 billion contest. The top prize goes to anyone who can correctly guess the winners of all of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament games.
Buffett is insuring this contest, and it’s free to enter. It is also sponsored I Quicken Loans, based out of Detroit.
Quicken paid Warren Buffett an undisclosed amount – believed to be in the amount of millions of dollars – in order to cover the $1 billion prize in the extremely unlikely event that someone would actually ever turn in a perfect bracket.
If you’re interested in entering the contest, you’ll have to sign up at Quickenloansbracket.com. This is a limited contest to the first 15 million people that register.
Experts say that this contest is a savvy marketing trick and it has already generated a serious amount of publicity for Quicken, the third-largest issuer of mortgages in the US.
Quicken is also going to gain a lot of personal information about those who enter, since they are required to provide their home address, details about their mortgage, name, date of birth, email address, and they even offer the opportunity to opt-in to a mailing list or to speak with a “loan expert about my mortgage opportunities.”
Yahoo Sports is helping to handle the technology end of this contest, and this also has serious marketing appeal. Entrants must sign up for a free Yahoo account in order to submit their bracket, and this can seriously draw millions of more people to Yahoo’s website.
Buffett’s exposure to this contest seems to be minimal. Even the most skilled handicapper has about a one in a billion chance of putting together a perfect bracket, we learn from Duke University mathematics professor Ezra Miller.
And to even lower his liability further, Buffett mentions that he would most likely make an “offer you can’t refuse” to buy out the person that gets to the Final Four with a perfect bracket.