View Full Version : Okay- this is serious cash for a perfect bracket

dukelifer

01-22-2014, 06:38 AM

According to bleacher report

According to Rob Wile of Business Insider, Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has teamed up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert to offer college basketball fans a shot at becoming a billionaire.

Wow!

http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/1931210-warren-buffet-will-pay-1-billion-to-fan-with-perfect-march-madness-bracket?utm_source=m.cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=m.cnn-sports-bin

Dr. Rosenrosen

01-22-2014, 06:50 AM

Odds are about the same that Roy uses all his TOs in one game. Over 9 quintillion to one...

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15

01-22-2014, 08:15 AM

Sweet. I could use a billion dollars on the heel of another Duke national championship.

What are the only things that can make a Duke championship better? A UNC collapse and an extra billion.

/why not?

JasonEvans

01-22-2014, 08:33 AM

Can you imagine if someone had every game right headed to the national championship game? The betting line on the national title game would be insane because they would have to make hundreds of millions in bets on the team they had not picked to cover themselves and ensure big money. I am telling you, it could move a the betting line by 10 or 20 points! What a cool concept.

Of course, it would not be a spread bet, but a money-line bet. I think the sports books factor the money-line bets into how they distribute money via the spreads which is why I think the betting line would move so much. Anyway, it is really cool to think about.

-Jason "I am talking about somewhat sophisticates gambling stuff here -- if someone wants me to explain, just let me know" Evans

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15

01-22-2014, 08:50 AM

So... if I pick a Duke championship and have an nearly perfect game going into Monday night, I could single-handedly move the line Duke's direction? Oh wait, that doesn't help me at all... unless I figure I stand to lose nothing, and personally wager a cool million on the loss I win either 999 million or a million. Not a bad prospect.

JasonEvans

01-22-2014, 09:04 AM

So... if I pick a Duke championship and have an nearly perfect game going into Monday night, I could single-handedly move the line Duke's direction? Oh wait, that doesn't help me at all... unless I figure I stand to lose nothing, and personally wager a cool million on the loss I win either 999 million or a million. Not a bad prospect.

I am thinking that the person with the near perfect bracket awaiting the outcome of one game would wager a lot more than a million dollars on the final game. If I were them, I would go to a bank or some other financial backer and borrow about $200 million (or more) to place a money-line wager on the team I had not picked in the championship. If the team I picked wins, I get $1 billion. If the other team wins, I get $200 million (minus a few million I would have to pay in interest to the bank or backer).

Actually, the interesting thing would be if you had a perfect bracket up to the final 8 or Final Four. It would be very tempting to try to bet out every possible option to ensure yourself at least $50 or $100 mill in profit.

-Jason "everyone knows about the stupid Auburn fan (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10251632/auburn-tigers-fan-made-100-bet-win-national-title-500-1-odds) who threw away $25k by not covering a 500-1 $100 bet on Auburn to win the national title, right?" Evans

How long will it take me to fill out 9 quintillion entries?

JasonEvans

01-22-2014, 09:21 AM

How long will it take me to fill out 9 quintillion entries?

I thought of that already. They are only allowing 1 entry per household.

Personally, if I was doing multiples, I would probably save the time and not fill out a bracket that had a #16 seed winning the National Title. That might cut it to 8.5 quintillion.

-Jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" Evans

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15

01-22-2014, 09:40 AM

-Jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" Evans

But see, this is the thing.... I think lots of people are going to "come close" to winning it. It's much much easier to come close to winning it than it is to have perfect brackets. A few years ago (2010, surprise, surprise) I missed all of three games in my bracket in a pool. I did it through Yahoo, and it showed that I was in the top 100th of the top percentile.

Not just trying to pat myself on the back here, but pointing out that while it is extremely difficult to predict say, the Final Four or even the Sweet Sixteen correctly, it is not impossible.

What's near impossible is those quirky 50/50 games early on, or the unforeseen big upsets. The people in your office pool who brag because they picked VCU to get to the Final Four probably also picked the other three totally wrong. Those early rounds are the killers. I think the likelihood of someone getting to the final weekend with perfect brackets is infinitesimal. This kid (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/8632/autistic-teen-picks-perfect-bracket) did pretty good a few years ago though...

FerryFor50

01-22-2014, 09:43 AM

i thought of that already. They are only allowing 1 entry per household.

Personally, if i was doing multiples, i would probably save the time and not fill out a bracket that had a #16 seed winning the national title. That might cut it to 8.5 quintillion.

-jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" evans

but this could be the year!!!

Troublemaker

01-22-2014, 10:26 AM

I am thinking that the person with the near perfect bracket awaiting the outcome of one game would wager a lot more than a million dollars on the final game. If I were them, I would go to a bank or some other financial backer and borrow about $200 million (or more) to place a money-line wager on the team I had not picked in the championship. If the team I picked wins, I get $1 billion. If the other team wins, I get $200 million (minus a few million I would have to pay in interest to the bank or backer).

Actually, the interesting thing would be if you had a perfect bracket up to the final 8 or Final Four. It would be very tempting to try to bet out every possible option to ensure yourself at least $50 or $100 mill in profit.

-Jason "everyone knows about the stupid Auburn fan (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10251632/auburn-tigers-fan-made-100-bet-win-national-title-500-1-odds) who threw away $25k by not covering a 500-1 $100 bet on Auburn to win the national title, right?" Evans

Another interesting thing is that Warren Buffett and Dan Gilbert would also have incentive to pull the maneuver you're describing.

Let's say it's Duke vs Kansas in the natty championship game. A Duke win would complete the perfect bracket and Buffett and Gilbert would be out $1 billion. So they would have incentive to bet Duke moneyline heavily to cover their losses.

So you would have the Buffett/Gilbert duo AND the fan who is one win away from the perfect bracket converging on Vegas to lay huge bets on Duke and Kansas, respectively.

(This is all in theory, of course. In reality, these things would unfold much differently for a variety of reasons.)

JasonEvans

01-22-2014, 10:29 AM

What's near impossible is those quirky 50/50 games early on, or the unforeseen big upsets. The people in your office pool who brag because they picked VCU to get to the Final Four probably also picked the other three totally wrong. Those early rounds are the killers. I think the likelihood of someone getting to the final weekend with perfect brackets is infinitesimal. This kid (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/8632/autistic-teen-picks-perfect-bracket) did pretty good a few years ago though...

Any math expert want to help me with this...

If someone happened to pick the first two rounds correctly -- a perfect bracket to the Sweet 16 like that autistic kid did a couple years ago -- how many possible combinations would be left at that point. 16 teams remain, how many different permutations are out there?

-Jason "I am trying to figure out if there would be any way to make bets to cover all the possibilities and still make any kind of coin. I suspect it would be impossible" Evans

77devil

01-22-2014, 10:34 AM

I am thinking that the person with the near perfect bracket awaiting the outcome of one game would wager a lot more than a million dollars on the final game. If I were them, I would go to a bank or some other financial backer and borrow about $200 million (or more) to place a money-line wager on the team I had not picked in the championship. If the team I picked wins, I get $1 billion. If the other team wins, I get $200 million (minus a few million I would have to pay in interest to the bank or backer).

Actually, the interesting thing would be if you had a perfect bracket up to the final 8 or Final Four. It would be very tempting to try to bet out every possible option to ensure yourself at least $50 or $100 mill in profit.

-Jason "everyone knows about the stupid Auburn fan (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10251632/auburn-tigers-fan-made-100-bet-win-national-title-500-1-odds) who threw away $25k by not covering a 500-1 $100 bet on Auburn to win the national title, right?" Evans

The payout is $25 million a year which limits the size of the leverage bet but your logic is spot on. If I were a sports book and the scenario you describe occurred, I'd probably not take bets, or severely limit the action, on the championship game. There would likely be so much volatility I might not be able to balance the risk.

A-Tex Devil

01-22-2014, 10:39 AM

I thought of that already. They are only allowing 1 entry per household.

Personally, if I was doing multiples, I would probably save the time and not fill out a bracket that had a #16 seed winning the National Title. That might cut it to 8.5 quintillion.

-Jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" Evans

And therein lies the catch (well, um, besides it already being nigh statistically impossible). If they *really* wanted to gamble (and WB/Quicken would still be at almost no risk of losing), they'd allow some level multiple entries.

Also, how do they enforce one per household - home address? Will they do the diligence when I win to see if my wife or daughter also filled out a bracket, or whether I did using a different email address? Make me sign an affidavit that no one else has filled out a bracket? I can see it now:

"Joe Schmo won the Warren Buffett challenge, correctly picking all 67 NCAA tournament games. In shocking news, though, it was learned that unbeknownst to Joe, his 12 year old son, Todd Schmo, also filled out a bracket online in violation of the 'one per household' rule for the contest, thereby disqualifying Joe from the contest."

77devil

01-22-2014, 10:46 AM

Any math expert want to help me with this...

If someone happened to pick the first two rounds correctly -- a perfect bracket to the Sweet 16 like that autistic kid did a couple years ago -- how many possible combinations would be left at that point. 16 teams remain, how many different permutations are out there?

-Jason "I am trying to figure out if there would be any way to make bets to cover all the possibilities and still make any kind of coin. I suspect it would be impossible" Evans

I'm not a math or stats. expert, but I think it's 16 factorial which would be over 20 million combinations. Even if I'm wrong, I'm confident whatever the right answer is, it's still way too many to bet

hurleyfor3

01-22-2014, 10:48 AM

If someone happened to pick the first two rounds correctly -- a perfect bracket to the Sweet 16 like that autistic kid did a couple years ago -- how many possible combinations would be left at that point. 16 teams remain, how many different permutations are out there?

There would be 15 games remaining, so if the rest of the tournament were completely random, the chance of a perfect bracket would just be 1 in 2^15, or 1 in 32768.

If you think you can predict each game with N percent accuracy, the odds you are perfect would be 1 in (1 over (N^15)), with N as a decimal. For 55% accuracy, which is the breakeven level on Vegas point spreads, the odds are 1 in 7844.

Papa John

01-22-2014, 10:56 AM

Any math expert want to help me with this...

If someone happened to pick the first two rounds correctly -- a perfect bracket to the Sweet 16 like that autistic kid did a couple years ago -- how many possible combinations would be left at that point. 16 teams remain, how many different permutations are out there?

-Jason "I am trying to figure out if there would be any way to make bets to cover all the possibilities and still make any kind of coin. I suspect it would be impossible" Evans

And I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night, either... But I think the answer to you question is that there is something like 6,500 possible combinations if you are able to make it unscathed through the first two rounds. So, if you are able to get 6,500 friends to agree with your first and second round picks and cover every contingency from then on, you could all split the $500 million lump into around $75K each (before taxes, of course).

I wasn't all that impressed by this announcement and don't understand why it is getting so much play in the news. This is a no-cost publicity stunt. They already know that the best computer models out there aren't very good at predicting the outcomes of every game, and they know that no human has ever done it and most likely will never do it. So they know that it's highly unlikely that they'll ever pay out a billion--that fact is about as close to a sure thing as you can get. So basically they are going to award 10 people $100K each, which amounts to the same prize money given by the bracket contests that they chide in the announcement from the outset...

Ichabod Drain

01-22-2014, 11:04 AM

In a 64 team tournament (I know there's 68 now but this is for the sake of easier math) there are 4,295,033,110 different permutations I believe. And if you rule out the possibility of a #16 upsetting a #1 then it drops dramatically down to 268,501,270 permutations. If we can get 1000 DBR'ers to fill out 268,502 brackets each then we're guaranteed a cool million each. :cool:

InSpades

01-22-2014, 11:17 AM

I am thinking that the person with the near perfect bracket awaiting the outcome of one game would wager a lot more than a million dollars on the final game. If I were them, I would go to a bank or some other financial backer and borrow about $200 million (or more) to place a money-line wager on the team I had not picked in the championship. If the team I picked wins, I get $1 billion. If the other team wins, I get $200 million (minus a few million I would have to pay in interest to the bank or backer).

Actually, the interesting thing would be if you had a perfect bracket up to the final 8 or Final Four. It would be very tempting to try to bet out every possible option to ensure yourself at least $50 or $100 mill in profit.

-Jason "everyone knows about the stupid Auburn fan (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10251632/auburn-tigers-fan-made-100-bet-win-national-title-500-1-odds) who threw away $25k by not covering a 500-1 $100 bet on Auburn to win the national title, right?" Evans

I would think it would be difficult to find anyone to take anywhere near that much action. Even if you hit every betting site. Also you are correct... you'd be much more likely to want to hedge well before the national championship game.

Also I think the "stuipd Auburn fan" view is very midguided. When your prize is $1B or $0... hedging seems automatic. When the prize is $50k or $0, it's a lot less clear. The utility of $50k is probably a lot closer to 2x the utility of $25k. The utility of $1B is nowhere near 2x the utility of $500M. Also w/ FSU being favored he couldn't even guarantee himself a $25k payout. He might have only been able to lock in $20k.

TexHawk

01-22-2014, 11:25 AM

-Jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" Evans

It's happened before, hasn't it? A quick google shows that an autistic kid picked every game correctly in 2010 (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/8632/autistic-teen-picks-perfect-bracket), he had UNI over KU (grrr).

InSpades

01-22-2014, 11:25 AM

In a 64 team tournament (I know there's 68 now but this is for the sake of easier math) there are 4,295,033,110 different permutations I believe. And if you rule out the possibility of a #16 upsetting a #1 then it drops dramatically down to 268,501,270 permutations. If we can get 1000 DBR'ers to fill out 268,502 brackets each then we're guaranteed a cool million each. :cool:

If it was truly that low then they'd actually be at a significant risk. As it stands... the odds are much much worse. As stated earlier... if the games are all 50/50 then it's like 2^67. It's like a billion times a billion.

By my calculations... if every game was 60/40 and you had a billion people enter every year it would take more than 700,000 years to get a perfect bracket on average.

My math is probably wrong but... (1/(1-(1-.6^67)^1*(10^9))) in the right ballpark I think.

InSpades

01-22-2014, 11:28 AM

It's happened before, hasn't it? A quick google shows that an autistic kid picked every game correctly in 2010 (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/8632/autistic-teen-picks-perfect-bracket), he had UNI over KU (grrr).

He got the Sweet 16 right. Which is impressive... but a lot different than getting the whole thing right.

hurleyfor3

01-22-2014, 11:32 AM

Presuming all four play-in games are included, there are 67 games in the tournament. So there are 2^67 possible brackets. The most obvious way to see this is in each initial game, call one team "Heads" and the other team "Tails", and keep those names constant throughout the tournament. Then you just have 67 coin flips. 2^67 is 1.4E20, or 147.5 billion billion.

Say an extraordinarily good picker can predict a game with 70% accuracy. It is reasonable to assume the average contestant can get over half the games right, mainly because a good chunk of games are in the first few rounds where there is a wide difference in seeds, and where the higher seed wins a great deal of the time. But overall, a 70% picker can can do very well at Vegas by just betting money lines until he gets cut off. I've never heard of anyone getting cut off from sports betting without trying to fix a game or otherwise cheat the casino, which should tell you how likely this is.

Anyway, the chance a 70% right contestant gets the bracket perfect is 1 in 24 billion (23.902 and change billion, actually). So the expected value of participating in this pool would be slightly over four cents.

We can calculate the level of accuracy required for the expected value of an entry to be one cent. It's just the 67th root of 100 billion (1E11). This comes out to .68521, or 68.5%, just over two-thirds. You'd have to get 46 out of 64 games right on average. One way to do this is to get the ENTIRE play-in round, the ENTIRE Round of 64, and 10 out of the Sweet 16, and everything wrong the rest of way. That's not just getting lucky, that would have to be your AVERAGE bracket.

What Buffet really should do is allow anyone to enter an unlimited number of brackets, but charge one cent for each entry.

Ichabod Drain

01-22-2014, 11:33 AM

If it was truly that low then they'd actually be at a significant risk. As it stands... the odds are much much worse. As stated earlier... if the games are all 50/50 then it's like 2^67. It's like a billion times a billion.

By my calculations... if every game was 60/40 and you had a billion people enter every year it would take more than 700,000 years to get a perfect bracket on average.

My math is probably wrong but... (1/(1-(1-.6^67)^1*(10^9))) in the right ballpark I think.

Yes sorry my math was wrong... it's actually one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 for a 64 team field. It's been a few years since that college statistics class.

Wander

01-22-2014, 11:35 AM

Just a darn minute, here. What's going on? Where did the 67 games figure come from? Things aren't very clear. By my count, the NCAA Div I championship tourney requires just 35 games. Is Mr. Buffet also including the NIT? I have no idea how many teams compete in the NIT, but those NIT games could possibly reach the 67 total. Come on, Warren. Straighten this out.

Maybe I'm missing something. http://crazietalk.net/ourhouse/images/smilies/7.gif

Think of it this way. There are 68 teams at the start of the tournament and 1 team at the end of the tournament. Each game eliminates exactly 1 team. So, 67 games.

I think it's possible that someone picks a perfect bracket in our lifetime, but it'd probably have to be during a year like 2007 where the tournament is super boring with few upsets.

weezie

01-22-2014, 11:36 AM

Oh whatever, considering I'd have to dance around all those taxes, leverage the remainder, pay estimateds, blarrgh, what a pain.

TexHawk

01-22-2014, 11:43 AM

He got the Sweet 16 right. Which is impressive... but a lot different than getting the whole thing right.

Oh wow... The title fooled me, maybe I should read the article first. :/

TruBlu

01-22-2014, 11:52 AM

Yes sorry my math was wrong... it's actually one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 for a 64 team field. It's been a few years since that college statistics class.

So, you're saying there is a chance?

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15

01-22-2014, 12:19 PM

Yes sorry my math was wrong... it's actually one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 for a 64 team field. It's been a few years since that college statistics class.

Except that that's not really the case. I mean, it is in your coin-flip scenario, but in reality, Syracuse has a much better than 50/50 chance to win their first few games. If you were truly "guessing" rather than "picking," you would have that blind-squirrel chance. However, I like to think that as a bit of a fan, I can guess whether Syracuse beats Directional State University more than half the time.

It's a damned complex equation.

Jarhead

01-22-2014, 12:35 PM

Think of it this way. There are 68 teams at the start of the tournament and 1 team at the end of the tournament. Each game eliminates exactly 1 team. So, 67 games.

I think it's possible that someone picks a perfect bracket in our lifetime, but it'd probably have to be during a year like 2007 where the tournament is super boring with few upsets.

I left one whole round out of my adding machine, but I deleted the message to avoid embarrassment.

In a 64 team tournament (I know there's 68 now but this is for the sake of easier math) there are 4,295,033,110 different permutations I believe. And if you rule out the possibility of a #16 upsetting a #1 then it drops dramatically down to 268,501,270 permutations. If we can get 1000 DBR'ers to fill out 268,502 brackets each then we're guaranteed a cool million each. :cool:

An article I read said that one of the rules is that submissions are limited to one per household.

PSurprise

01-22-2014, 01:15 PM

Darn it, where's Paul (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Octopus)when you need him?

Dev11

01-22-2014, 01:45 PM

Oh whatever, considering I'd have to dance around all those taxes, leverage the remainder, pay estimateds, blarrgh, what a pain.

If you want to split it, I'll be happy to take care of all of the headaches for you.

uh_no

01-22-2014, 02:00 PM

This kid (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/8632/autistic-teen-picks-perfect-bracket) did pretty good a few years ago though...

went a bit downhill after that, though.

moonpie23

01-22-2014, 02:45 PM

I

-Jason "no one is going to come close to winning this" Evans

but there have been perfect brackets picked out….no?

77devil

01-22-2014, 03:07 PM

What Buffet really should do is allow anyone to enter an unlimited number of brackets, but charge one cent for each entry.

I believe that would constitute illegal internet sports gambling.;)

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