In a recent two part post, I estimated the probability of picking a "perfect" March Madness bracket. Using my ranking methodology as a proxy for a well-informed bracketologist, I found that the probability of perfection is about 1 in 50 billion if you know a thing or two about college basketball.
As you may have heard already, Quicken Loans is offering a $1 Billion prize to anyone that can beat those odds (with Warren Buffett providing the financial backing). Rising to this challenge is the team at Take Buffetts Billion, a crowd sourcing-based attempt to win that billion dollars for a good cause. The general idea is to coordinate a large group of people (thousands, tens of thousands, or even more) and submit as many quasi-optimal, distinct brackets as possible in an effort to maximize the odds of winning. The website has more details and background.
Take Buffett's Billion has partnered with Immunity Project and Habitat for Humanity to give participants an opportunity to donate some or all of any potential winnings to these worthy causes.
For my own part, I will be loaning out my ranking methodology to the team at Take Buffett's Billion for the purpose of creating as many "good" brackets as possible for submission (other ranking methodologies may be used as well). So be sure to sign up and submit a bracket (signup with Quicken Loans starts on March 3). And feel free to use your special, unique snowflake of a bracket for your office pool as well.
If we get enough participation, we can take those odds of winning from astronomical to, well, still astronomical (there's a reason Buffett doesn't seem too worried about losing his billion). But regardless, it should be fun.