As a promotion for Quicken Loans, Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert has partenered with Warren Buffett to offer $1 billion to anyone who can pick a perfect March Madness bracket. Yup, you read that right, that's BILLION with a 'B.'
So great, that's all you have to do, right? Not so fast. The NY Daily News puts the odds of picking a completely perfect bracket with no losses at one in 4,294,967,296. The other caveat (there had to be at least one, right)? The contest will be limited to the first 10 million entrants.
Sound impossible? It very well might be, but as a consolation prize, Quicken Loans is offering $100,000 to the top 20 "not-so-perfect" brackets that enter to be used towards buying, remodeling, or refinancing a home.
There's no fee or restrictions to enter, they're making it as simple as possible. You can enter from March 3rd thru March 19th, and brackets will be made available on Selection Sunday (March 16th). There's a limit of one entrance per household, and IF you win, your options are to either take the billion in 40 annual payments of $25 million each, or a lump sum of $500 million.
My advice, take the lump sum ... always take the lump sum unless you're not good enough with money not to blow through it all well before you die (and that would be quite a feat). $500 million nets you just over $302 million after taxes. If you invest it right away (even taking the $2 million plus for yourself to go on a bit of a shopping spree - so let's call it an even $300 million), at an absolute MINIMUM you should be able to make 5% / year on that kind of money. That would earn you $15 million a year in income FOREVER, even for your heirs. Push that up to a more reasonable rate of return, and don't spend $15 million / year (or whatever the return you're earning is, minus taxes of course - but now you're not talking ordinary income taxes either so it won't be 40%) to take advantage of the amazing phenomenon that is compounding interest, and you should be able to get yourself to that $25 million / year income quite easily by taking the lump sum.
For more information, check out the Quicken Loans Facebook page.
BONUS: Ask a Billionaire: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's 2014 Predictions