March madness brings new, intense challenge

by Mac Paquette | sports writer

This year the annual NCAA college basketball tournament has a new twist to the usual madness in March.  Billionaire Warren Buffet is offering a billion dollars to anyone who can successfully predict the correct winner of all the games played over about a three week span.  In years past there have been very few “perfect” brackets, but now with the chance to become a billionaire, people all across America are entering Buffet’s challenge.

“My dad put in a bracket for the challenge, we’re just hoping for the best, but we know the chances are practically impossible, so we are not getting our hopes up,” juinor Jackson Findley said.

Millions every year compete to have a perfect bracket.
Millions every year compete to have a perfect bracket.

While the challenge is offering a very unique and exhilarating challenge, the sign-up process is difficult and tedious, which turns away many possible applicants.  Housing and living details are required to enter, and brackets that are entered must be from U.S. citizens age 21 or older, and limited to one bracket per household.

“No I’m not participating. It had too long of an entrance process, and I just didn’t have the time to do it,” sophomore Hunter Evenson said.

There are other more traditional ways to fill out your bracket, and some people are still sticking to that instead of entering online or in a contest.

“I’m just doing a normal paper bracket with my family, I wish I could’ve done the billion dollar, but honestly the process asked too much and I prefer just to do a tournament challenge with my family,” junior Michael Penrod said.

One billion dollars seems like a very risky pay-day for Buffet to give out, but with his net worth ranging to about 43.5 billion dollars, it does not seem like as big of a risk.  Also, Warren Buffet has made his worth and what he has become off of making wise and smart decisions, and the odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808.  That’s one and nine quintillion.

“It’s a great idea but I don’t think there’s a chance anybody is going to even make it to the championship game,” Evenson said.

After the first round alone, less than 15 percent of brackets were perfect, and after the completion of the second round, not a single perfect bracket remains.

Whatever the end result is, this year’s NCAA tournament will surely bring upsets, and crazy finishes just as it brings every single year.

“The billion dollar reward will bring even more tension and hype around the tournament, it’s going to be a completely different element to the already crazy tourney,” Findley said.

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