Buffett would consider bringing back $1 billion bracket challenge - NBC Sports

Buffett would consider bringing back $1 billion bracket challenge
March 24, 2014, 12:45 pm

The billion-dollar dream is over for now.

A second day of upsets Saturday ended any chance of someone having a perfect NCAA tournament bracket in Warren Buffett's $1 billion challenge. It was a favorite that provided the first blemish on the final three people's brackets in the Quicken Loans contest on the Yahoo Sports website. All three had ninth-seeded George Washington beating Memphis. The Tigers won 71-66.

Buffett said he would not have minded paying out the cash.

"That's just part of the insurance business," he told The Dan Patrick Show. "It would not have bothered me to pay out the billion."

Buffett said he would do the challenge again, but it would be up to Quicken whether they decided to repeat it. He said he hoped future contests would be easier to enter -- and win.

"I'd like to modify it a bit," he said. "So people had an even better shot than they did this year."

It only took 25 games for everyone to be eliminated. Then again most of brackets were knocked out on the tournament's first full day. The number of unblemished brackets kept dwindling after third-seed Duke, sixth-seed UMass and seventh-seed New Mexico lost Friday.

Only 16 people remained perfect after 10th-seeded Stanford topped New Mexico. Then Tennessee routed UMass, leaving only six people with a chance of beating the 9.2 quintillion-to-1 odds.

Gonzaga's victory over Oklahoma State cut that down to the final three.

Buffett, a longtime Nebraska resident who is also known as the "Oracle of Omaha," said his bracket was dashed when his alma mater -- the University of Nebraska -- and his hometown Creighton were eliminated. Known for his financial savvy, Buffett said he picked his bracket as a fan -- not an investor.

"If it's not for money, I pick with my heart," he said.

Even though no one won the $1 billion, the top 20 scores will still each get $100,000.

Quicken Loans, which is sponsoring and insuring the Buffet contest, said on its Twitter feed that it wouldn't reveal the number of entrants to the challenge. The pool was supposed to be capped at 15 million entries. It probably wouldn't have mattered if they had let more people join.

At CBSSports.com, only 0.03 percent of entrants were still perfect after Mercer upset Duke. The final remaining unblemished entries were also ruined by the Memphis win.

A year ago, not a single person of the 11 million who entered on ESPN's website was perfect after a first day filled with upsets. Just four got 15 out of 16 right.

This year people lasted a little longer. After 28 games, all 11 million entries had at least one mistake.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.