Warren Buffett along with Intuit last year offered a billion dollars to anyone that could pick a perfect bracket in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. This year, he got involved in the tournament again, but only internally with his Berkshire Hathaway employees by offering a $1-million-a-year March Madness prize to anyone able to correctly pick the first 48 games of the tournament correctly.
Warren Buffett’s millions all sorts of safe
It shouldn’t come as a tremendous surprise that no one at Berkshire Hathaway was able to pick the first 48 games of the March Madness tournament (that carries well into April now) perfectly especially given the massive upsets that were the defeats of #2 seed Michigan State University (my pick to win the whole thing), #3 seed West Virginia and Kentucky’s earlier exit. Nevermind the lesser defeats all over the place. In fact, it only took 21 games to kill the 360,000 employees of Berkshire Hathaway’s dreams to receive $1-million-a-year.
The 21st game in question was Michigan State University’s aforementioned loss to Middle Tennessee State. How many of the 360,000 employees at Berkshire Hathaway participated in the contest is unknown but you would imagine the number is fairly large given the time it takes to fill out a bracket and the massive prize involved.
To put that in perspective, no one even made it halfway through the tournament without selecting the wrong team.
It’s highly doubtful that Mr. Buffett ever saw himself giving that money away but he did offer. It’s not as if $30-40 million for a man with 50,000 millions would really have sweat it too much either.
Buffett still plans to splash a bit of cash
While no one got close to winning the yearly payout of $1 million, someone will still see $100,000 for their winning participation, with Mr. Buffett’s promised consolation prize.
That payout will go to two players who did the best and they will split the prize.
The two winners were Kevin Wills at Berkshire-owned United States Liability Insurance and Robert Keller of the conglomerate’s Geico Corp. unit, according to the World-Herald (which is itself owned by Berkshire).
Clearly, Bershire Hathaway doesn’t have that many employees, so the 360,000 involved included those that work for any Berkshire-owned subsidiary.