In an interview with CNBC’s Squawkbox on Monday night, billionaire Warren Buffett announced a March Madness challenge that will make at least one Berkshire Hathaway employee very happy next month.
The Berkshire chairman and CEO said that he’ll pay any of his employees $1 million dollar a year, for life, if they correctly pick the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in this year’s company bracket.
And if nobody accomplishes that very, very difficult feat? The employee who makes it the furthest in the challenge will still come away with $100,000.
“If they can get to the Sweet 16, if there’s only one of them, whoever it is, he or she gets a million dollars a year for the rest of their life. We also have a prize for $100,000 for whoever gets the furthest.”
You may remember that Buffett had a $1 billion contest for a perfect bracket that was open to the public in 2014. CNN Money explains how that bracket challenge was stopped due to a series of lawsuits involving the three companies regarding who came up with the idea:
That year, the competition was open to the public and was held in partnership with Quicken Loans and Yahoo
The partnership between the three companies eventually went bust when lawsuits arose over who had come up with the idea.
Since 2015, the contest has been for Berkshire employees only. And last year, two employees tied and split the prize 50/50, taking home $50,000 each.
Berkshire Hathaway has roughly 367,700 employees, and Buffett expects at least 100,000 of them to participate in the contest. 85,000 people participated in the 2016 contest.
As of this writing, Berkshire Hathaway is trading on the NYSE at $255,795 per share. Something tells me that if an employee does get every participant in the Sweet 16 correctly, Buffett and his company are still going to be just fine.