Democracy Dies in Darkness

Early Lead

Warren Buffett keeps trying to give away big bucks in an NCAA tournament bracket contest

By Cindy Boren

March 7, 2018 at 2:46 PM

Has the Oracle of Omaha got a deal for you! (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Warren Buffett would love to give someone $1 million a year for life. Maybe $2 million.

But there are a couple of catches in his third annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket game. (Hey, he didn’t get to be a billionaire by just throwing cash around.)

First, you must be one of the more than 377,000 employees of his Berkshire Hathaway company to enter. Second, you have to perfectly pick the Sweet 16 to get a cool million a year for the rest of your life. Third, to get $2 mil a year for life, Creighton (21-10) or Nebraska (22-10) must win the national championship. (Barring a flawless Sweet 16, the company will again award $100,000 to the employee who maintains perfection the longest.)

“The company is going to award the prize for whoever goes the furthest,” Buffett explained late last month on CNBC. “And if you get through the Sweet 16, you get $1 million a year for life. Which, if Creighton or Nebraska won, would be $2 million a year for life.”

Buffett has been offering a college basketball-themed contest to employees at Berkshire and its subsidiaries since 2014, the year he and Quicken Loans made a splash by offering $1 billion to anyone who completed a perfect bracket. Of course, no one did.

As for this year’s company contest, Buffett probably is safe. Only 18 of the 18.8 million brackets completed on ESPN.com last year got the Sweet 16 correct, and no one made it to the end blemish-free. This year, Creighton and Nebraska face long odds, with The Washington Post’s Patrick Stevens putting the Bluejays at a No. 8 seed and the Cornhuskers on the wrong side of the bubble.

Should Buffett have to fork over the cash to an employee, fret not. Forbes puts him third on its list of the top 50 billionaires with a net worth of $87 billion.

Read more from The Post:

Tony Bennett and Virginia aren’t for everyone, but ‘it’s okay to be different’

In the Big East, hardly anyone is one and done

Atlantic 10 tournament has been the home of the March Madness bid-stealer

A season on the stink: Remembering the smelliest team in NCAA tournament history

Barry SvrlugaHere’s one way to clean up college basketball: start paying the workforce


Cindy Boren arrived at The Post in 2000 as an assignment editor in charge of baseball and NFL/Redskins coverage. She switched to full-time writing, focusing on national sports stories and issues, when she founded The Early Lead blog in 2010.

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Early Lead

Warren Buffett keeps trying to give away big bucks in an NCAA tournament bracket contest

By Cindy Boren

March 7, 2018 at 2:46 PM

Has the Oracle of Omaha got a deal for you! (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Warren Buffett would love to give someone $1 million a year for life. Maybe $2 million.

But there are a couple of catches in his third annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket game. (Hey, he didn’t get to be a billionaire by just throwing cash around.)

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