Warren Buffett Tells Us Why He’s Going Big On March Madness This Year by Daniel Roberts, Yahoo
He calls it “the lollapalooza prize.”
In a memo sent to managers of companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), Warren Buffett lays out his March Madness offer for this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament: If an employee predicts the Sweet Sixteen round perfectly, he or she will win $1 million every year, for life.
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“Think of it as the ultimate ‘office pool,’ with the parent company providing the prize,” Buffett wrote in the Berkshire memo. “Get the word out—use this letter if you like—so that our sports-minded employees can start thinking about their picks,” he urged.
Berkshire Hathaway held a March Madness contest two years ago for the general public, offering $1 billion for a 100% perfect bracket. The odds of doing so were 1 in 7,419,071,319, according to FiveThirtyEight. No one won. Last year, Berkshire and Buffett dropped the contest.
This time, the prize is smaller, but so is the entry pool: only employees of companies majority-owned by Berkshire can play. That includes brands like Brooks Running, Dairy Queen, Duracell, Geico, NetJets, Russell, and See’s Candies, to name a few.
The contest has “No entry fee, no nothing, all you have to do is be working for us on March 1,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an exclusive conversation this month in Omaha. There were 331,000 Berkshire employees as of 2015. According to a 2014 Career Builder survey, nearly 20% of all American workers have participated in an office March Madness pool.
Warren Buffett Tells Us Why He’s Going Big On March Madness This Year
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