March Madness: How to Become a Billionaire

It’s come to our attention that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is teaming up with Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans to hand out a cool billion dollars to anyone who fills out a perfect bracket for this year’s NCAA men’s basketball competition. According to Business Insider, the prize money will be awarded in annual instalments of $25 million over 40 years. Awesome, right? Well, now you just have to face odds of 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Plus, over 100 million fellow contenders, according to Forbes.

While the tournament’s unpredictability can very well have a four-year-old eating crayons beat your bracket, there’s still a few things that you can do while filling out your bracket to gain an advantage if you’re not a hoops junkie. Because seriously, who doesn’t want to take a chance at being a billionaire.

First Round

We all want to ride the wave of “I called it” when trying to distinguish which bottom seed will win and pull an upset, dissolving the majority of bracket picks (not to mention hopes and dreams). Instead of choosing a 15 or 16 seeded team to win, opt for a 5 or 6-seed to lose. According to the Bleacher Report, only three tournaments have gone by since 1985 without a 12-seeded team advancing past the first round.

Second Round

The advice is simple; stick to the number one teams as much as possible. Eighty-eight percent of one-seeds have made it to the Sweet 16.

Elite Eight

At this point in the tournament, it’s most likely that whatever underdog team is fiercely clawing its way against all odds, will now fail. It’s tempting to be bold and choose them to go all the way, but 72 percent of number one seeds have advanced to the Elite Eight.


Whatever you do, don’t pick all top seeded teams for the Final Four. First of all, it’s tacky (c’mon this is a tournament about unpredictability, get creative). And second, although it might seem tempting, remember that a Final Four group containing only number one ranked teams has only happened once in the entire tournament’s history. However, at the same time, don’t stretch for a bottom-of-the-barrel seed to make it there either. According to USA Today, only three teams ranked 10th or lower have advanced all the way to the Final Four.

Start pickin’ here.

Jeremy Singer is a freelance writer and reporter from Toronto. He has a journalism degree from Ryerson University, and enjoys covering all aspects of men’s lifestyle and pop culture. He hopes to one day try on an $8,000 suit but not buy it, because he’s afraid of commitment. Feel free to contact him on Twitter or at his website.
Photo courtesy of West Point.

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