Buffett's Billion Dollar Bracket? What are the odds? Premium?

I don’t buy this.

My assumption is that some expert AI is involved in the picks. Or maybe just some human intelligence. And what should have Buffett’s re-insurance company collected in premiums?

Everyone should be in this, btw.

It is cheaper and has a better payoff than Powerball.

I don’t know what your question is.

The payoff is for picking all 63 *winners *correctly. (That article doesn’t mention the two play-in games, so I don’t know if that’s an extra variable.) No AI is involved, nor does it need to be. The individual contestants make their predictions. All anyone has to do is go to the news to see if they are right.

That article correctly states the odds for pure guesses on 64 binary picks. It also discusses reasonable options for narrowing those odds. But reasonable and perfect aren’t the same. Maybe this is the year when a 16 seed beats a 1 seed. That’s low probability but it could happen. Even so, 128,000,000,000 to 1 is far, far worse than the Powerball odds by somewhere around 1000 times.

ESPN runs a content like that every year and nobody has come close to wining. Buffett’s billion is safe.

What don’t you buy?

:confused: What picks?

I saw an interview with Buffett and the Quicken Loans guy but they did not want to divulge how much the insurance policy cost. It’s a great promotion, though. Probably worth it.

Better payoff, but still poorer odds, even if you eliminate all the nonsensical guesses as the article explains.

The bracket most likely to win is the one where higher seeds always beat lower seeds: That is, after all, what the seeds mean. So you would fill out such a bracket, then ask yourself “What is the probability of a 1 seed beating a 16 seed”, and take that to the 4th power, and then “What is the probability of a 2 seed beating a 15 seed”, and take that to the 4th power and multiplying it by your previous number, and so on. Then continue into the next round, with a 1 seed beating an 8 seed and so on. Once you get to the Final 4, you’d need to use something other than seeds, but there are still rankings available on which team is more likely to win.

Of course, there’s a complication in this. This is so obviously true, that there are going to be a very great many people betting on the no-upsets bracket. And presumably, the challenge specifies that if more than one person gets a perfect bracket, they split the prize. So your expected winnings are much higher if you instead mix in a handful of upsets, in places where nobody else has them (at least, not that exact same set). How do you pick those? There can be no single clear answer, since if there were, everyone would do that one, and it would become a bad choice again due to prize-splitting.

I just came in to add that anyone thinking of paricipating should read the fine print.

  1. It’s a $500 million dollar lump sum payment, OR $25 million a year for 40 years. Nothing too different than your typical lottery there, I’d still be happy with half a billion.

  2. Only the first 15 million entries are eligible, so with a billion dollars at stake, you may need to act fast.

  3. You have to give your full name & address and answer a number of quesitons about your mortgage situation to enter. To think they won’t use that info to send you junk mail for the rest of your life would be naive. I can only imagine it’s in the terms and conditions that the prize will be nullified if any of this information isn’t fully accurate.

  4. You have to enter and validate your cell phone number. This is where they lost me. You have to accept a text message and reply with the password therein. In the fine print it says they can send you up to 2 advertisement texts a week! There’s no such thing as “free”, people. Supposedly there is an option to “opt-out” of the texting after confirmation, but when I tried the link, the opt-out web page was broken. Somehow I think fixing this page won’t be a priority.

Enter at your own risk folks, Warren ain’t no fool. Rest assured he (and Yahoo and Quicken loans) are making a tidy advertising profit off this whole charade.