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Warren Buffett Offers $1 Billion Prize For Perfect March Madness Bracket

 
 
oralloy
 
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 11:05 pm

Quote:
DETROIT, January 21, 2014 -- Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation's fourth largest mortgage lender, has joined forces with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway to offer a chance at a $1 Billion prize for completing the perfect bracket in this March's men's college basketball championship tournament.

Any qualified entrant who correctly enters the contest and predicts the winners of every game in the tournament will share the total $1 Billion prize paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million. Alternatively, the winner(s) may elect to receive an immediate $500 million lump sum payment or share in that lump sum payment if there is more than one perfect bracket submitted.

http://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/2014/quicken-loans-billion-dollar-bracket-challenge-offers-1-billion-grand-prize-for-perfect-college-basketball-bracket

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10328805/1-billion-offered-perfect-tournament-bracket

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20140121/1-billion-offered-for-perfect-tournament-bracket/
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 12:01 am
@oralloy,
It nonsense as the number of possible outcomes would be 2^40 or roughly a 1,000 billions.

Given it is my understanding that they are going to limit the numbers of entrants to 10 millions the chance of anyone winning such a pick is 1 in a 100,000.

Great PR but as far as anyone having a real chance of winning it seems unlikely to say the least and if they have any fear of that happening my guess would be that Lloyd would write a policy for a million or so to cover that risk.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 11:36 am
@oralloy,
I wonder if they bought (quicken along with Buffett) an insurance policy for this.

A local furniture company did something (not to this extent of money) like this -- if the Red Sox won the World Series then anyone who purchased furniture through certain dates would get it free. Guess they won -- and many people got nice checks in the mail. It was told afterwards, they bought an insurance policy to cover if the Red Sox won.

0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 12:56 pm
@oralloy,
Well I'll give it a shot though I never do particularly well on the brackets in the first place.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 01:02 pm
Very cool Oralloy.
You gonna submit one?
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2014 07:19 pm
I fill a bracket out most years. I can usually figure out ONE of the Final Four. All the rest, especially the first round winners, isn't even a crap shoot, in a crap shoot you actually have a chance at rolling a winner or two.

Joe(good luck all)Nation
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:33 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:
Very cool Oralloy.
You gonna submit one?

Probably. Team sports are incomprehensible to me, but I may as well submit something "just in case".
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:39 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
It nonsense as the number of possible outcomes would be 2^40 or roughly a 1,000 billions.

Powerball and Mega Millions odds are absurd too, but many people still play.

Reportedly if you understand the game enough to filter out unlikely outcomes, the odds increase significantly (although they are still extremely low).

That won't help me, as I have no understanding of the game. But it won't hurt for me to fill out a bracket and send it in, so I might as well.
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 01:02 am
@oralloy,
Oralloy the odds of winning is a lot lower then even a super ball lottery and once more I hear they are going to limit the total entrances to ten millions.

Yes indeed if you are an expert you might be able to lower those odds somewhat but not enough to matter at least in my opinion.

Of course there is a non-zero chance someone will win but it is a long shot that anyone will win that one billion dollars.

You would have a must better chance of winning the secondary prices where you are just competing against the other ten millions players for coming the nearest to predicting the outcomes correctly.

Good luck in any case.
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 02:07 am
@BillRM,
I realize the odds are bad. But what is the cost? Just the loss of the time it takes me to fill out an entry I think.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 08:05 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
but I may as well submit something "just in case".

I wish johnboy would run the ladder here but I know it's a lot of work
Make sure you post some of yours so we can play along.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 10:59 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:
Make sure you post some of yours so we can play along.

Here are my picks for Olympic Figure Skating:

Men
Gold: Patrick Chan (Canada)
Silver: Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
Bronze: Daisuke Takahashi (Japan)

Women
Gold: Julia Lipnitskaia (Russia)
Silver: Yuna Kim (South Korea)
Bronze: Mao Asada (Japan)

Pairs
Gold: Volosozhar/Trankov (Russia)
Silver: Pang/Tong (China)
Bronze: Sui/Han (China)

Dance
Gold: Davis/White (USA)
Silver: Virtue/Moir (Canada)
Bronze: Péchalat/Bourzat (France)


It is likely just as hard to do a perfect figure skating bracket as it is to do a perfect basketball tournament bracket though. If even one of my picks misses a difficult jump, that's the end of my perfect bracket.

But unlike basketball, where I will be totally clueless and submitting essentially random choices, at least here I'm making reasonable predictions.

I haven't seen any official announcement as to who China is sending. If China does not send both pairs teams that I've listed, then my new pick for pairs bronze is: Savchenko/Szolkowy (Germany).
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2014 03:43 am
@oralloy,
I wanna adjust my bracket a bit.

I notice that Javier Fernandez finally got his act together at Spanish Nationals, so he's now my pick for men's bronze (no change to my gold and silver picks).

And Savchenko/Szolkowy is my pick for silver in pairs (no change to my pick for gold). I don't know what I was thinking before. For bronze, either Sui/Han or Pang/Tong will work. If China sends both teams, I'll go with Sui/Han as my pick for bronze. I like their free skate.

No change to my dance and women picks.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2014 09:52 am
@oralloy,
The changes have been noted.
Good luck
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2014 06:37 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:
Good luck

Thanks. There are a lot of legitimate contenders for the bronze medals, and all the women's medals, so my picks are probably not going to be terribly accurate. Probably not much different from picking between legitimate contenders in a basketball bracket.

But picking the top two in men's, dance, and pairs (especially dance) is pretty straightforward, though which of the two will end up on top is still an open question. If I get time, I might comment more about that.


Olympics starts tonight, BTW, even though opening ceremony isn't until tomorrow.

Note that this Olympics there is a team figure skating event. It is something like is done in gymnastics, where everyone from a given nation competes for an overall medal before they go on to their individual events.

Note also that the scoring is a bit different from last time (they want more quads). Now if someone crashes on a quad, if they rotated fully four times before they crashed, they get more points than they would have gotten for a perfectly-executed triple.

Of course, if they land a perfectly-executed quad, they get even more points. But you might see some people crashing on their quad attempts, but not being marked down as much as you would have thought.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2014 07:44 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
Note that this Olympics there is a team figure skating event.

I did see that.
This is a fascinating topic. Thanks for the postings
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2014 11:55 pm
@panzade,

NBCSN (SN = Sports Network???) will have LIVE coverage of figure skating events:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/nbcsn-air-over-230-hours-sochi-coverage

Saturday February 8, 9:30 a.m. — Team Event: Ice Dancing Short Program, Women's Short, Pairs Free Skate
Sunday February 9, 10:00 a.m. — Team Event: Men's Free, Ice Dancing Free, Women's Free

Tuesday February 11, 10:00 a.m. — Pairs Short
Wednesday February 12, 10:45 a.m. — Pairs Free

Thursday February 13, 10:00 a.m. — Men's Short
Friday February 14, 10:00 a.m. — Men's Free

Sunday February 16, 10:00 a.m. — Ice Dancing Short
Monday February 17, 10:00 a.m. — Ice Dancing Free

Wednesday February 19, 10:00 a.m. — Women's Short
Thursday February 20, 10:00 a.m. — Women's Free
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 07:25 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
panzade wrote:
Good luck

Thanks. There are a lot of legitimate contenders for the bronze medals, and all the women's medals, so my picks are probably not going to be terribly accurate. Probably not much different from picking between legitimate contenders in a basketball bracket.

But picking the top two in men's, dance, and pairs (especially dance) is pretty straightforward, though which of the two will end up on top is still an open question. If I get time, I might comment more about that.

Some thoughts on ice dancing:

In Vancouver, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada) got the gold. Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA) got the silver. No one else on the planet even came close to them.

Since that time, one thing remains the same. No one else on the planet even comes close to them. They are definitely getting gold and silver this time too. But there is a bit of a question on which team is getting gold and which is getting silver.

Back in 2010, the pattern was that Davis and White would come on strong at the start of the season and win gold in all the early events. But they would remain unchanging and stay at the same level all through the season. Meanwhile Virtue and Moir would start out the season weak (though still better than anyone other than Davis and White) and get stronger and stronger throughout the season until it was they who were winning the gold medals at the end.

Since 2010, Davis and White decided they didn’t like that pattern. They stopped remaining unchanging throughout the season, and started getting better and better as the season progressed. And ever since then it has been Davis and White getting the gold all season long.

But this past year building to the Olympics, Virtue and Moir decided that they don’t like that pattern, and have begun increasing their difficulty just as dramatically as Davis and White. Both teams have shattered world records for ice dance scores several times this year. Davis and White still hold the top position, but only by a very small margin considering the record scores being set.

It's going to be quite a battle when they go head to head for the gold in Ice Dance. And we might get a preview of that battle when they skate for their team medals this morning.

BTW, all four are actually good friends off the ice, and even train together.



The French ice dance team of Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat used to be an absolute lock for the bronze. But they had an injury last year, and since then they are only one of several legitimate contenders for the bronze.

Last year they skated to Rolling Stones music, and that was an amazing program before their injury. Sadly though, they have a different program this year. Their Rolling Stones dance was awesome.



Another bronze contender, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev from Russia, is noteworthy for their use of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". It seems that about five different skaters/teams are using Four Seasons for their music this year. But most people just try to interpret the music with their skating.

Bobrova and Soloviev are depicting two birds being chased by hunters, and they use Vivaldi's "spring storm" music to depict their frantic flight.

It's kind of a sad story that they depict, as she ends up shot by the hunters and dying in his arms. But it is a really creative use of Four Seasons.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 10:01 am
@oralloy,

Some thoughts on pairs skating:

Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov (Russia): Best in the world.

Aliona Savchenko / Robin Szolkowy (Germany): Second best in the world.

Sort of the same "duel for gold" as in men and dance, only with fewer world records and more artistry.

A bit of rivalry between the two girls. One girl left Ukraine to skate for a Western country. The other girl proudly skates for Mother Russia.

Russia owned the gold medal in this event throughout the Cold War and even through the 1990s and 2000s. Then they were completely off the podium in 2010. They really want to hear the Russian national anthem playing when medals are awarded for this event.

Volosozhar and Trankov are undoubtedly the best in the world, but they are beginning to wilt under the pressure. Hopefully they can fix that and pull it off, because they are amazing when they do.



Thoughts on women's skating:

So many contenders for gold that I don't know where to start.

Some that stand out:

Julia Lipnitskaia (Russia) -- amazing artistry, amazing jumps, amazing competitive spirit, just plain amazing, my nomination for the greatest figure skater of all time

Yuna Kim (South Korea) -- won the gold at Vancouver in 2010 then went into retirement, at the end of last year came out of retirement from out of the blue and showed up at worlds where she won the gold, didn't skate this year until qualifications for the Olympics last month were she put out a world record score so high that I'm not even sure how it was mathematically possible

Mao Asada (Japan) -- awesome triple Axles, I love triple Axles, more triple Axles please

Gracie Gold (USA) -- good enough to win if everything goes right, and with a name like that just think of the headlines

Polina Edmunds (USA) -- her very first skate at the senior level was enough to put her on the US Olympic team, the Olympics will be her second skate at the senior level, good enough to win if everything goes right, I've never seen anyone moonwalk in ice skates before (referring to her post-competition exhibition skate)

Adelina Sotnikova (Russia) -- hard to notice her when Julia Lipnitskaia is also in the building, good enough to win if things go right

Akiko Suzuki (Japan) -- hard to notice her when Mao Asada is also in the building, good enough to win if things go right

Kanako Murakami (Japan) -- hard to notice her when Mao Asada is also in the building, good enough to win if things go right
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2014 11:53 am
@oralloy,
Yuna Kim is my favorite and I'll be rooting for her
0 Replies
 
 

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