I registered for the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge.
I have no illusions about winning but, having an internet business and publications, I study web events AND, with Quicken [Dan Gilbert] involved, it is a Detroit story. Big name billionaire Warren Buffet is in the story too as he is providing the insurance should on the off chance someone actually win and Yahoo is a player. Quicken and Yahoo seemingly pay the insurance, 20 'next best’ brackets awards of $100,000 and reap the benefits.
For those not aware, one can win a billion dollars if he or she can predict the winners of all games played in the upcoming ‘March Madness’ collegiate basketball championship.
It is a brilliant if ethically questionable ploy and gamble as there really is no chance anyone will win. Why?
The odds of winning are 1 in 9 quintillion, if one blindly makes the picks as I will be doing, but allegedly falls to around 1 in 300 billion if one knows the teams well enough and people know that good teams usually win, according to some mathematician I heard. That is still a thousand times greater than the odds of winning a Mega Millions lottery which is ‘only’ 1 in 259 million.
The bet is further secured by limiting the entrants to 15 million. Many more play the Mega Millions.
So what do Dan and Warren and Yahoo get?
To register one has to:
• have a yahoo account
• supply an email address which has to be confirmed by login to the Yahoo account
• supply a cell number to get a confirmation number to be entered after login to the Yahoo account
• supply a name
• supply a birth date
• answer questions about home ownership, if you have a mortgage or intend to get one
This supplies a treasure trove of loan data to Quicken and new accounts for Yahoo, not to mention the huge free publicity bounce this will generate.
Warren as always gets the real money, a huge insurance premium.
I am pretty much outed, have a Yahoo account already, so giving up that info is no big deal and I am not a loan candidate. Any web investigative company could dig that up on me quickly and throw in my social security number and more to boot.