Fancy being a billionaire this year? Enter Warren Buffett's $1bn basketball challenge

If you’ve got Paul the Octopus-like predictability skills and know a thing or two about Basketball, then you can be a billionaire this year.

No, this is not a joke.

Warren Buffett, the world’s fourth richest man, has launched a competition to hand over a cool $1bn prize to anyone who can predict the winner of every game of the US’ National Collegiate Athletics Association’s men’s basketball tournament 2014.

The billionaire investor has teamed up with US mortgage lender Quicken Loans to offer the winner a $1bn prize paid in 40 annual installments of $25m or an immediate $500m lump sum.

Jay Farner, president of mortgage lender Quicken Loans, said: “We’ve seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket [picking the winners], which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat,” said Jay Farner, president of mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

“It is our mission to create amazing experiences for our clients. This contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that bill.”

The firm will also give $100,000 each to the 20 people who get closest to the correct results. However, they need to spend that cash towards buying, refinancing or remodeling a home.

“Millions of people play brackets every March, so why not take a shot at becoming $1bn richer for doing so,” said Mr Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, who is insuring the contest’s grand prize. “While there is no simple path to success, it doesn’t get much easier than filling out a bracket online. To quote a commercial from one of my companies, I’d dare say it’s so easy to enter that even a caveman can do it.”

The competition has been panned by some people in Ohio with one grandmother being “disgusted and saddened” by Buffett’s challenge.

She said that the money could “help LOTS of families that struggle to always do the right thing and never seem to get a break on the hardwood court of life”.

“A small amount of money that would never be missed by a billionaire could make all the difference in their lives,” she told Business Insider.

A word of caution: Rumours are doing rounds that you have a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance to get this right. That’s nine with 18 zeroes or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to be precise…

Best of luck!

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