While many sports enthusiasts enjoy making picks and betting a little money on March Madness games, this year millions of fans are signing up for free March Madness bracket challenges that are offering huge cash and prizes. And for the first time, there’s a billion dollars up for grabs. Warren Buffet is offering one billion dollars to any person who can pick a perfect NCAA Men’s March Madness bracket.
Win this bracket challenge and you won’t have to worry about a job, vacations, or saving money for dinner, because you will be the world’s newest billionaire. Just pick all 63 games correct and a retirement party awaits. Sounds simple, right? Well not exactly.
The odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket are an eye-popping 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Insane odds aside, we still think it’s worth a shot.
Note: All brackets challenges need to be submitted by Thursday March 20th at Noon EST – so get moving!
The first bracket you should fill out is the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket challenge. In conjunction with Buffet and Quicken Loans, Yahoo Sports will be behind the scenes providing all of the updates, keeping fans up-to-date with the latest scores and bracket information. Rules state you must 18-years-old and you get one entry into the contest. The first fifteen million people that sign up will get a chance at the billion. It has to be a perfect bracket in order to win the mega-prize. In addition, the people with the top twenty closest to perfect brackets will each receive a hundred thousand dollars. So even if your bracket isn’t perfect, you still have a chance to win big. To get started, go to www.quickenloansbracket.com and register your winning bracket.
If you don’t win the billion, you have another chance to win a million dollars. FoxSports is sponsoring a perfect bracket challenge with the winner, who a perfect bracket, receiving a million dollars. First prize for the closest to perfect bracket is a 50-inch Brand Name SmartTV. Second place through the top 50 near prefect brackets will receive Fox Sports Shop Bucks. Rules state you must be 18-years-old and may have one entry.
If money isn’t your thing or the pressure of picking a prefect bracket is too much, CBS Sports is offering a bracket challenge where the winner receives seats to next year’s Final Four. This challenge gives you a bit more breathing room. Rules state you must 18-years-old and you can have up to three entries into the contest and the person with the best bracket (not necessarily a perfect bracket) at the end will win tickets to next year’s Final Four.
Here’s a list of more places you can win money for free playing NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenges around the internet:
- Win a $10,000 Best Buy gift card at ESPN
- Win up to $1,000,000 at SI.com
- Win thousands of dollars at NBCsports
- Win $1,000,000 for a perfect bracket at AthlonSports.com
- Win up to $1000 in giftcards from Jiffy Tickets
- Win cash prizes, championship tickets, or even 1 million dollars for a perfect bracket at Liberty Tax
Tips and Stats to Improve Your Odds of Winning
Here are an “elite eight” bunch of factors that will help guide you en route to winning your NCAA tournament bracket pool, and possibly one billion dollars.
16 Seeds Never Win
In the history of the NCAA tournament, thirteen No. 1 seed vs. 16-seed games have been decided by single digits, the two most recent occurring in 2013 when Kansas defeated Western Kentucky 64-57, and Gonzaga defeated Southern 64-58. Two 16-seeds have come within one point of upsetting a No. 1 seed, both in 1989, but despite the almost upset, number one seeds are 116-0 versus a sixteen seed. Don’t expect a blemish to that record in 2014.
If Lehigh can beat Duke, anything is possible…right?
There have been seven No. 15 seeds to defeat No. 2 seeds in the first round of the tournament, with the number two seed winning 96% of the time against the No. 15 seed. It doesn’t happen often, but if you happen to pick the upset, you can ACTUALLY win your bracket pool.
The Shoe Still Doesn’t Fit
Winning 85% of the time against the No. 14 seed, there have been seventeen No. 14 seeds that have beaten No. 3 seeds in the first round, and twenty-five No. 13 seeds to defeat a No. 4 seed. When selecting your final four team remember that two of the four final four teams from a season ago, were No. 4 seeds
It’s time to invite Cinderella to the Dance
Since 2006, two number eleven seeds have reached the Final Four (George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth). Neither reached the National Championship game, but don’t be surprised if it were to happen again this season.
Stats don’t lie:
#5 seed vs. #12 seed– The #5 seed has won 67% of the time against the #12 seed.
#6 seed vs. #11 seed– The #6 seed has won 67% of the time against the #11 seed.
#7 seed vs. #10 seed– The #7 seed has won 60% of the time against the #10 seed.
Toss the rankings out the window because according to history, the number nine seed wins the first round matchup 53% of the time against the number eight seed. Remember, you heard it here first. Pick the shockers to lose in the second round.
Get Out the Erase Board
If you expect all four number one seeds to meet at AT&T Stadium in Dallas the site of this year’s final four, you are going to be disappointed. Since 1979, only once (4% of the time) have all four No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four
Talent Normally Always Wins Out
Pending the journey for the four number one seeds, expect one of the top dogs to be in Texas because three times (12% of the time) in history, no No. 1 seeds have made it to the Final Four.
I don’t know the teams. I don’t know the brackets. But I do know this, for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, head coach Billy Donovan will lead his Gators to the promise land and will be cutting down the nets in April.