2. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has offered $1 billion before and has lived not to pay it. That was back 11 years ago when numbers were printed in the bottle caps of Pepsi products and a monkey drawing the final numbers to see if anyone would collect the $1 billion prize failed to find a winner.
3. And the winners are Berkshire Hathaway, Quicken Loans and Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report). Berkshire Hathaway takes in a large (but undisclosed) premium in the unlikely event that someone wins, and Quicken Loans gets a lot of free information from the applicants regarding their housing intentions and current mortgage rates. According to a recent Slate article, a mortgage lead such as the one Quicken Loans is receiving in the contest, can be valued at between $50 and $300 per lead. In order to submit a bracket an applicant must create a Yahoo! account, so Yahoo! wins, too
During March Madness some of TheStreet's Wall Street Pros, including Jim "El Capitan" Cramer and Stephanie "The Missing" Link, will participate in the Beat TheStreet Bracket Challenge on ESPN.com.
Join us at www.thestreet.com/espn to participate in the contest, which will likely be as much fun and as rewarding as the Quicken Loans challenge! In our case, all participants are entered into ESPN.com's contest wherein the top 1% of all brackets on ESPN.com will be entered into a random drawing for a $10,000 Best Buy gift card, and the participant with the most points on the Beat TheStreet Bracket Challenge will receive a basketball signed by Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link.Thanks and enjoy March Madness. And try to Beat TheStreet!
This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 11:00 a.m. EDT on March 17.