Bracket Challenge Brings Slim Odds

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MEDFORD, Ore. — If you entered billionaire Warren Buffett’s challenge and selected the winners of all 63 March Madness games correctly, you will win one billion dollars. Tuesday night a Mega Millions jackpot of 400 million dollars is up for grabs, but which one is more likely depends on who you ask.

Tuesday afternoon, Jeff Hill had his eyes on soccer, but his mind was on March Madness.

“These Philly people, St. Joe’s and Villanova from Philly, they would love to all travel to Buffalo to watch that game but it’s not going to happen,” said Hill.

He said he follows college basketball from the preseason to the championship game. That knowledge could pay off, with Buffett’s perfect bracket challenge. While some people fill out several brackets, Hill sticks to just two.

“What’s the point? What am I trying to prove? I want to get it right, but I don’t have to do it 15 times,” said Hill.

Tuesday night, the Mega Millions will be drawn for a jackpot of more than 400 million dollars. When given the choice, hill would rather take his chances on his bracket.

“The theory of random should suggest that none of my numbers are any more weighted than yours.  I’ll think take my knowledge. I’ll take my bracket with my knowledge and go for the billion,” said Hill.

Math experts said the odds of winning Buffett’s bracket challenge is one in 9.2 quintillion.

“That is a number that’s a little hard for people to get their mind around,” said Rogue Community College Math Chair Doug Gardener.

Gardener said relative to the bracket challenge, the Mega Millions odds are a slam dunk. Gardner said if every man, women and child in the United States filled out a bracket every year, a winner still wouldn’t be in sight.

“That would be 318 million brackets, each year,  it’s still going to take 29 billion years to actually  have enough brackets filled out to actually expect  somebody to win it once,” said Gardener.

Although highly unlikely, there is a possibility, and Gardner said this year is as good as any.

“But when will that be? It could be 2014,” said Gardner.

“If I win, I get a billion dollars, you ain’t finding me anyplace. I’ll be somewhere far away from here,” said Hill.