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Why No One Will Win Buffett’s Billion Dollar Basketball Bet

by | 23rd, January 2014

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THE  big news over the Pond today is that Warren Buffett is offering a billion dollar (yes, really, $1,000,000,000) prize about basketball.  And the thing is, yes, this is a pretty big prize, but it’s pretty certain that no one’s going to win it. Indeed, it’s set up almost to make sure that no one will.

The bit you need as background: the college basketball playoffs are coming and there’s a tradition of playing a game called “brackets” with it. Take all the entrants, decide who will win against whom and thus predict the outcome of the whole competition. It’s a bit like trying to predict each and every match in the FA cup at the beginning of the tournament.

So, given the way this is set up the odds, by picking purely at random, of getting each and every result correct are 1 in nine quintillion. Or, roughly speaking, get every person in America to try and predict this from now until the heat death of the universe and no one will get it right.

So, Buffett’s pretty secure in offering a $1 billion

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Posted: 23rd, January 2014 | In: Money, Sports Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink