Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans are offering to pay $1 billion to anyone whose bracket perfectly predicts the outcome of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Odds are no one will win the money.
“No one in recorded history has done it … the chance of randomly predicting the outcome of the main draw’s 63 games is one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808,” reports USA Today.
According to the Associated Press: “There are a few more than 9.2 quintillion combinations for a 64-team bracket. A quintillion is 1 million times 1 trillion — a 1 with 18 zeros behind it. If every possibility were filled out on its own sheet of paper, the weight of the paper would be 184 trillion tons — more than 500 million times the weight of the Empire State Building.”
Still, we thought it might be a fun to look at some locally tied purchases you could make should you somehow manage to win the March Madness sweepstakes. Next
The Celtics, Bruins or 50 NCAA hoop franchises
You could buy the Celtics – valued by Forbes at $875 million – or the Bruins – valued by Forbes at $600 million – and would still have plenty of dough leftover.
But, unless you could pull off the ultimate March Madness miracle and win the billion twice, the Sox and Pats would beyond your budget at $1.3 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, according to Forbes.
The New England Revolution would be a painless purchase at $89 million, according to Forbes. In fact, you could buy the Revs plus the seven most valuable Major League Soccer franchises and still have $78 million to spare.
If you want to reinvest your loot back into men’s college basketball, you could buy about 50 teams. NCAA squad are worth about $20.2 million on average, according to Forbes.
More than 1.8 billion Fluffernutters
Fluff, the marshmallow spread invented in Somerville, costs about $2.50 for a 16-ounce tub, which contains 38 servings, according to the packaging. Peanut butter costs about $3.50 for a 16-ounce container, which offers about 14 servings. A 20-ounce loaf of bread costs $3, and features 20 slices, or 10 servings. Next
The art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston was victim to the largest art heist in history in 1990. The stolen, still-missing pieces have been estimated to be worth about $500 million.
You could buy the artwork and spend the other half billion to build an elaborate fortress to protect the coveted collection from thieves. Next
5 million tons of cranberries
You could buy 100 million barrels of cranberries, which cost about $10 a barrel, according to recent reports. Save some money to cover shipping, though. With each barrel weighing 100 pounds, you’d have to find a way to move a total of 5 million tons of Massachusetts’ official state berry. Next
750 to 2,000 homes on Martha’s Vineyard
Median homes on the island range in value from $501,400 to $1,319,600, depending on which of the five zip codes you’re looking in, according to Zillow.com
One billion dollars would allow you to buy about 2,000 half-million-dollar homes or about 750 of the $1.3-million homes. There were about 17,000 homes on the island as of 2009, according to a master plan by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Next
13,333 duck boats
After the Red Sox won the World Series last year, the team enjoyed a victory parade through Boston aboard duck boats. Pitcher Jake Peavy enjoyed the amphibious vehicle so much he bought one, for a reported $75,000.
You could buy 13,333 duck boats. If you wanted to parade your fleet all at once, they would stretch contiguously for more than 75 miles. Next
More than 100 million pounds of lobster
Lobsters typically cost between $7 and $10 per pound at the supermarket, depending on their size, according to recent reports. You could buy between 100 million and 143 million lobsters. Next
6 Boston City Halls
During his run to become Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh proposed selling the existing City Hall – a structure that some have called “the best public building of our time,” while others have declared it is the world’s ugliest building.
Walsh estimated the building could go for as high as $150 million.
You could buy six Boston City Halls. Depending on whether you love or hate the building, you could use the $100 million leftover to either cover property taxes and upkeep expenses or to pay to demolish all six. Next
5 major public transportation projects
With a billion dollars you could fund five major local public transportation projects that are either proposed, underway, or recently completed: the state’s proposed $850-million expansion of South Station; the MBTA’s $90-million project to overhaul Government Center Station; the newly completed $15-million redesign of Yawkey Station; the $35-million project to repair the Callahan Tunnel; and the $10-million effort to rebuild the Cambridge Street bridge in Allston.
In exchange, the commuting public of Massachusetts could try not to honk at you – but no promises. Next
16,500 summers on Cape Cod
On a midsummer weekend, you can get a three-star hotel room on Cape Cod for as little as $90, according to current TripAdvisor.com listings.
But, now a billionaire, you don’t have to be as cautious about you’re spending, so you prefer more lavish stays that cost about $350 a night. (you also enjoy round numbers and simple math), so you spend another $150 a night to cover other expenses – high-quality food and drinks, transportation, parking, etc.
You could do that – spend $500 a night at the Cape – 2 million times. That equals about 16,500 summers living it up on Cape Cod.
You probably won’t live that long. But then again, you probably won’t win this billion dollar bracket challenge either. So, don’t worry. Back to the beginning
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