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Buffett backs $1 billion March Madness prize offer

Avery Dingman #22 of the Creighton Bluejays drives on Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils.
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Avery Dingman #22 of the Creighton Bluejays drives on Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils.

Warren Buffett and Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, are teaming-up to offer $1 billion for the perfect NCAA March Madness bracket.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will be insuring the grand prize. It would be shared by any qualified contest participant who predicts the winners of every game in the men's college basketball tournament, which is set to begin on March 18. The billion dollars would be paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million each.

The winner (or winners) may also choose to get a lump sum payment of $500 million (or share in that amount).

In addition to the potential grand prize, Quicken said it'll award $100,000 for each of the 20 most accurate "imperfect" brackets in the contest to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home.

Quicken will also be directly donating $1 million to nonprofit education organizations in Detroit—the city in which its headquartered—and in Cleveland.

Gilbert, a billionaire himself, also owns the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.

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