Commentary: Warren Buffett’s $1 Billion Looks Safe to Me

People’s quest for a perfect bracket took a significant hit on the first day of NCAA play.

Posted: 03/21/2014 12:59 PM EDT
Filed Under Sports News, NCAA

Who wants to be a billionaire?

Well, I do, but I won’t be any time soon. For I won’t get a cent of the $1 billion that uber-wealthy Warren Buffett will shell out to any person who fills out a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket.

The thought of $1 billion in my bank account drove me as well as 14,999,999 other folks to do what I’d never thought I’d do: stress over my NCAA bracket.

Now, of course, I knew Buffett didn’t get a net worth of $59 billion by throwing cash around like confetti in a New York City parade. He’s an astute investor, and he was betting that people like me wouldn’t beat the odds of 9.2 quintillion-to-1.

A long shot, perhaps; but ain’t we all suckers for long shots?

I can sit back and watch the tournament from afar now. On what was really Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament, my bracket crashed early like an old IBM computer. I had counted on my alma mater to take me deep into the online pool, a bad bet from the start. I should have figured that to put my trust in Ohio State hoops would make Buffett’s odds even longer than they were.

Just think for a second: Is point guard Aaron Craft really the man you want to rely on to make you a billion-dollar baby?

Yet forget about Craft, because even if I had gotten the Ohio State-Dayton game in the first round right, I would have gotten knocked out of the race to a billion bucks when Harvard – yes, you heard that right … Harvard – beat that other school from Ohio: Cincinnati, 61-57.

I had been rolling over in my mind what I would do with the billion. All my friends would be taken care of. My brothers and sisters and cousins would be free of financial worries. We were all going to live like crown princes and princesses, nothing too expensive that we couldn’t afford.

Yes, I saw a win in the face of odds that told me winning was impossible.

So good thing I didn’t quit my day job, ‘cause I don’t even have a chance now for one of the 20 consolation prizes the Buffett contest is offering. It would have put $100,000 in my bank account, but that ain’t happening either as I look at my wreck-of-an-NCAA bracket: down went too many teams that I had going deep into the tournament.

Yet, from listening to my close friends whine, they aren’t going to experience unimaginable wealth either. Their NCAA brackets look no better than mine do, which means they must have been sipping on Jack Daniels instead of water as they watched March Madness, too.

I guess we all had dollar signs in our eyes.

None of us realized how many Cinderella teams do jump up and surprise us. More of ’em will show themselves, because no top seed, whether Florida, Wichita State, Arizona or whichever other team you can think of, can promise it will reach the Final Four.

What all this bracket madness does is show parity; it reminds us that college hoops continue to prove that, on any given court or on any given day, anything and I do mean anything is possible.

Except, of course, putting together that $1 billion bracket.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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 (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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