One billion dollar madness

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While college basketball teams prepared for March Madness, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans, launched a competition for March Madness fans. Buffett and Gilbert promised a $1 billion reward, in addition to front row seats at the final championship game, to the person who generated the perfect 2014 March Madness bracket.
“We’ve seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat,” Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans said in an article in
Though the competition seemed harmless, it  has led to much public controversy. Many individuals feel that the money should be going toward a worthy cause. If these two businessmen have money to spare, their funds could be used to aid many problems in the United States and beyond. According to, 22 percent of all children under 18 are living in poverty in the U.S.  The financial support of $1 billion could significantly improve this statistic and the lives of thousands of children.

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The contest, however, does have some positive aspects. According to, Quicken Loans, as the nation’s third largest mortgage lender, is also giving  $100,000 to 20 second place winners to use towards buying a new home or remodeling or refinancing their current homes. The company is also donating a total of $1 million to nonprofit organizations in Detroit and Cleveland. 

Still, any redeeming elements of this bracket challenge pale in comparison to the grandiosity of the contest as a whole. 

People in our world struggle daily to make ends meet and those who have the ability to splurge on money seem to be making a mockery of that.  Maybe instead of rewarding a $1 billion prize to the winner with the perfect bracket, the winner should receive an alternative reward, such as the ability to choose which charity will receive $1 billion.  
As March Madness comes to an end, so does the Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans contest.  No one managed to create the perfect bracket. Contestants only correctly predicted games as far as the second round.  Although there is no first place winner, the contest did have 20 second place winners that will each receive $100,000.
– Madi Sirabella, Co-Sports and Health Editor