The incredible odds of scoring a $1 billion for perfect NCAA bracket

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - About one in five of us say we'll fill out an NCAA basketball bracket and play in the pool at work. It's one thing to bet on the odds of a winning team but it's an entirely different thing to try to randomly land a perfect 64-team bracket.
If you do, the world's fourth richest man, Warren Buffett, said he will give $1 billion. But what does he care? He's worth $58.2 billion.

So what are the odds, you'll beat him at his own game? Not good.

UMKC math lecturer Ari Bavel crunched the numbers.

"Your odds of landing a perfect bracket: 9.2 quintillion to one," he said.

That's 9.2 billion multiplied 1 billion times.

The chances of you getting hit by lightning in your lifetime? Much better: 1 in 6,250

Mega Millions jumped up to more than $400 million this week. The odds of you winning the lottery are much better too: 3.5 billion times better than scoring a perfect bracket.
And like Bavel points out, "Of course, you're only winning $400 million compared to $1 billion."

What if you tried to fill out every possible combination by Thursday's NCAA game time?

"And it only takes you one second to fill out 9.2 quintillion combinations?" Bavel explained on his whiteboard, "It's going to take you 292 billion yeas to fill out all of those brackets. None of us have that much time."

Buffett already thought of that, so he said he's only allowing one bracket entry per person.

So the best advice? Go with what you know: Who's been an upset in the past? Who are the number one seeds?

Buffett told CNBC, "The number 1 seed team has beaten the number 16 seed team over 100 times in a row."

If you don't land the perfect bracket, Buffett offers some mercy. He's agreed to pay the top 20 most accurate but not perfect entries $100,000.

All bracket submissions are due by Thursday, March 20, at 1:00 ET.

Good luck!

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