Warren Buffett’s employees have the chance to win $1 million a year for life – but there’s a huge catch

Warren BuffettAP Images

Employees at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway have the chance to score some serious cash off the company’s billionaire founder this March.

On Monday, Buffett – a long-time March Madness fan – announced an unprecedented giveaway on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”: Berkshire Hathaway will hand over $1 million a year for life to any employee who correctly guesses the teams in the Sweet 16 of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament this year.

However, that’s much easier said than done, even for the most avid basketball fan. According to Money, there’s a 1 in 1.24X1064 chance of accurately predicting all 16 teams. That’s more than 282 trillion potential variations, Mark Ablowitz, a professor of applied mathematics at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Fortune. Not exactly great odds.

Not everyone will go home empty-handed, though. Whichever employee’s bracket makes it the furthest in the tournament will win $100,000.

“Last year, we had two fellows that tied,” Buffett, who has an estimated fortune of $73.5 billiontold CNBC. “One of them knew a lot about basketball; the other didn’t know anything about basketball, but they each got $50,000 out of it.”

But as for winning the grand prize of $1 million a year for the foreseeable future: Even the Oracle of Omaha himself would struggle to win that challenge. 

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