Warren Buffett is offering up to $1 million a year for life to the winner of his March Madness bracket challenge

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett.

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is resuming its March Madness bracket contest.
  • One employee will win at least $100,000 and as much as $1 million a year for life.
  • If Buffett’s favorite team makes the final four, the winner’s prize money doubles.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is offering one employee up to $2 million a year for the rest of their lives. They just have to guess the winner of 48 games in a basketball tournament, and Buffett’s favorite team has to make it to the final four.

The billionaire investor’s company said this week that it would reinstate its March Madness bracket contest, after the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Berkshire will award $100,000 to the employee who picks the winner of the most games before making an incorrect guess. It will hand $1 million to any employee who guesses the victor of all 32 first-round games correctly.

If a Berkshire employee manages to guess the outcome of all 48 first-round and second-round games, they will receive an annuity paying $1 million a year for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, if Creighton University – Buffett’s hometown team – advances to the final four, Berkshire will double the prize money. That would increase the top award from $1 million a year to $2 million.

“Warren Buffett hopes that this year’s winner will be awarded one of the larger prizes and receives the Creighton ‘bump,'” Berkshire said in a press release.

Buffett started the yearly contest in 2016, and since then a number of Berkshire employees have correctly picked 31 of the 32 winners of the first-round games, the company said.

The billionaire touted the competition as the “ultimate office bracket contest” in a CNBC interview in 2016. “We have a good time,” he said a year later.

Buffett may have got the idea from his friend Dan Gilbert, the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, which now trades as Rocket Companies. The investor agreed to finance the mortgage group’s bracket challenge in 2014, which offered $1 billion to anyone who filled out a perfect March Madness bracket.

Nobody won, but Berkshire was paid a $10 million premium for shouldering the risk.

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