No one won Warren Buffett's March Madness grand prize but 8 employees each got $12,500

Warre Buffett and his Omaha-based company will be rooting for the 8th-seeded Creighton Bluejays
Andreas Rentz | Getty Images

Warren Buffett's annual March Madness bracket contest is more high-stakes than the typical office pool: Berkshire Hathaway employees can win $1 million a year for life if they correctly guess which teams make it to the Sweet 16.

This year, the Oracle of Omaha added a twist: If a Nebraska team won it all, the prize would double, to $2 million for life.

After an upset-filled start to the tournament, though, none of Buffett's 375,00 employees will win the jackpot. In fact, every single men's NCAA tournament bracket submitted online is apparently busted.

Warren Buffett's secret to investing lays in the game of baseball
Warren Buffett's secret to investing lays in the game of baseball

While Buffett came close to dishing out the grand prize last year after one employee correctly picked 31 out of the first 32 games, no Berkshire employee has won since the CEO and chairman started running the contest in 2014. After all, the odds are quite low: Of the 18.8 million brackets filled out on ESPN in 2017, only 18 people picked a perfect Sweet 16.

Buffett's consolation prize is $100,000 for the employee with the longest surviving bracket. This year, eight winners will split the $100,000 pot and each receive a check for $12,500. Their brackets were eliminated simultaneously after the No. 13 seed Marshall upset No. 4 seed Wichita State, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

One of the eight winners, Kevin Hessel, is a machine operator at the furniture chain's Kansas City store. "He's a working guy," Furniture Mart Chairman Ron Blumkin told the Omaha World-Herald, "so that's great."

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