Odds Of Filling Out A Perfect NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket

By Trevor Roughan Contributor

Updated 3/17/23 8:25pm ET

What’s on your bucket list? A lottery win of 1+ million dollars? Maybe hitting a royal flush at the Bellagio, or sinking a hole-in-one at your local golf tournament? What if I told you that accomplishing all three of these feats in the same day is nearly twice as likely to happen to you than filling out a perfect NCAA D1 men’s basketball bracket any given March. Seriously! 

The 1-in-4.2 quintillion odds of you literally having the best day ever are far better than the 1 in 9.2 quintillion chances of going 64 for 64 in March — that fictional-sounding number looks like 9,200,000,000,000,000,000 in case you were wondering.  In 2014, Warren Buffet was even willing to bet one billion dollars of his fortune on no one filling out a perfect bracket that year. Partnering with Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, Buffet launched a free contest open to the public.  If anyone perfectly forecasted the outcome of all 64 games in March, they’d enter April as a billionaire. 

Predictably, no one cashed in. If someone did, they would have been, and still would be, the only person confirmed to have ever filled out a perfect bracket. After just day one of the 2023 March Madness Tournament, only 787 out of 20+ million online brackets remain intact. After learning what 9.2 quintillion looks like when written out, I’m not surprised.  

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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