Your office's March Madness pool most likely pales in comparison to what billionaire Warren Buffett is offering his employees if they can predict which teams make this year's Sweet 16 of the men's NCAA tournament.
The investor known as the "Oracle of Omaha" has a penchant for making multimillion-dollar bets that test his employees' predictive abilities, and this year's no different. Buffett is once again offering to pay $1 million a year for life to any of the employee of Berkshire Hathaway or its subsidiaries who accurately predicts the results of the first week of March Madness games.
Buffett confirmed that the multimillion-dollar challenge is back on this year in an interview with CNBC in February. Unfortunately for most basketball fans, the billionaire's offer is only available to the roughly 375,000 people who either work for Buffett's investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, or one of that company's various subsidiaries (including insurance company Geico and fast-food chain Dairy Queen).
If more than one employee manages to fill out a March Madness bracket that correctly picks the college teams that reach this year's Sweet 16, then those winners will split the $1 million prize each year for the rest of their lives, Buffett explained. And, if no one submits a perfect bracket for the first weekend of March Madness, then whoever lasts the longest into the tournament without missing a pick will win $100,000 (or split that amount in the case of multiple winners).
Buffett first offered a big March Madness prize in 2014, with a whopping $1 billion offer to the public (not just his employees) for anyone with a perfect bracket all the way through the NCAA tournament. Unsurprisingly, no one claimed that prize, since the odds of picking a perfect bracket are roughly one in 2.4 trillion, according to one estimate. (In fact, according to the NCAA, no one has ever officially picked a perfect bracket and the best anyone has ever done is to predict the first 39 games of the 67-game tournament, in 2017.)
However, in recent years, Buffett has tried to make his March Madness challenge a little bit easier (you only have to be perfect up to the Sweet 16, instead of the entire tournament) while limiting the contest to his many employees. Still, no one has yet claimed the big prize from Buffett.