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Billion-Dollar Bracket
By: Cindy Wendland
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Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge with Yahoo Sports has just arrived. In order to win the billion dollar prize, a person must correctly select the outcome of all 63 games in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Quicken is also awarding 20 first-prize winners $1 million to the people who score the most points in the challenge.

The odds of winning explain the value of the prize. For comparison, the odds of winning Mega Millions Jackpot lottery are 1 in 259 million. The odds of winning the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge are 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808 or for practical purposes 1 in 9 quintillion. (FYI: after billion comes trillion, then quadrillion, then quintillion.)

Challenge entry brackets will only be accepted in the challenge from the first fifteen million entrants...Whoa! They expect more than 15 million people to enter this contest. The main rules are: 1. Must be at least 18 years of age. 2. Must have a mobile or landline phone under a continuing service contract. 3. Must have Internet access established prior to the start of the entry window. 4. Must have a valid working email address and a Yahoo ID.

Part of the entry process includes a short survey about the registrant’s mortgage needs. Questions are: Do you currently own a home? Do you plan to purchase a home? What is your estimated current mortgage rate? What is your estimated current home loan balance?

There are many companies involved in this promotion. Obviously the biggest sponsors are Quicken Loans and Yahoo Sports. Quicken loans will be getting a database of potential loan clients. Yahoo is getting new subscribers if they don’t have a Yahoo ID, and they are guaranteeing traffic to Yahoo Sports, which will allow them to charge more for advertising. Opt-in email offers are from Quizzle.com for a free credit score report and Fatheads for wall decals. Scottrade is also participating and has banner ads displayed once you register.

Sports fanatics are going to fill out a bracket for the NCAA tournament anyway.  The opportunity to enter a contest for a chance to win a million or a billion dollars is appealing. Hurry up and get one of the 15 million participant spots. This contest is a great marketing collaboration.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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