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March Madness contest odds were seriously in Warren Buffett's favor

By Dian Vujovich

Well, tonight’s the big game and odds are 50/50 that one of the two teams playing -The UConn Huskies or Kentucky Wildcats–will become the 2014 NCAAs men’s basketball tournament champion. Odds like that make sense unlike the are-you-kidding-me ones  Warren Buffett threw out earlier this year.


When I first heard about the $1 billion prize offered by Buffett and his buddies from Quicken Loan to anyone correctly predicting the winner of each game in the NCAAs men’s basketball tournament,  I thought it was a joke.  Buffett wasn’t that kind of gambling guy was he?


I mean, here’s a guy that’s been presented to the whole world of money as a warm and down-home farm-friendly grandpa-type who knows a few things about making oodles of it the old-fashioned way—sensibly and over time. And sure he has played -and still does play—the odds to do so. But, I’ve never thought of him as someone who would throw a carrot out to the peon class (that would be all the rest of us in the 90 percent and under group) who really can’t fathom how much money a billion dollars really is. Or for that matter, aren’t totally sure how many zeros there are in it. (FYI, one billion has nine zeros and is written like this: 1,000,000,000.)


But the win $1 billion wasn’t a joke. It was legit. And if there had been a payoff one humorously lucky so-and-so would have walked away with a one-lump payment of $500,000 or get $25 million a year for 40 years. Of course that would all change had their been multiple winners.


No one did win, however,  for it wasn’t long after the first whistle in the  tournament was blown  that this bet was lost to wanna-be billionaires.


As for the odds of winning that billion, well, they were astronomical. According to Business Insider, there were approximated 1 in 9.2 quintillion or 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.


The game begins tonight at 9 with many expecting the Kentucky Wildcats to win—but not by much. Odds are they might be right. Then again, maybe not.

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