A factory worker in West Virginia fell one game short of winning $1 million in Berkshire Hathaway’s NCAA tournament bracket contest. The company was offering $1 million per year for life to any employee who could pick the first two rounds correctly and a lump sum of $1 million to anyone who accurately predicted the first round. Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett told ESPN on Tuesday that the winner, who received $100,000 for going the furthest among the 96,108 brackets entered, missed one game out of the first 32.After choosing the first 29 games correctly, he picked Marquette to beat South Carolina. The Gamecocks won on Friday night by 20.“He told me he almost didn’t fill out a bracket, so he wasn’t upset,” Buffett said. “He told me it will help pay off some of his bills.” The contest was open to the more than 360,000 employees of Buffett’s companies that fall under his holding company of Berkshire Hathaway.
My big takeaway from this was not that this guy was one game away from winning the prize, I really couldn’t care less about that. Good for him, congrats on the $100,000, hope you can quit and retire. Instead, my takeaway was that Warren Buffett owns a lot more stuff than I thought. Saw that 360,000 employees and had to find out what the hell all those people were doing for Warren. Knew he was rich, but never really knew what Berkshire Hathaway was. Figured it was just an Elon Musk-type company that doesn’t really do anything, but people just give money to because they think they’re supposed to (I’m so woke on SpaceX it’s unbelievable). Just a few companies owned by Warren: Dairy Queen, Benjamin Moore, Geico, Duracell, and Russell. So they were allllllll eligible to enter this $1 million/year contest? Lost a lot of respect when I heard that. Because at that point, just let us all in on the gig. It’s almost worth it to just get a job at a Dairy Queen for the month of March so that you can get in on this.What’s the difference between letting 360,000 people in and letting 7 billion people in? Not a lot Warren, not a lot.