Though the prize is high, the feat is near impossible: the contest rules for the challenge note that the odds of winning the grand prize are one in 4,294,967,296. Last year, USA Today said the odds of filling out a perfect bracket (just using math, no basketball knowledge) were even higher: 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. They said the the odds were closer to 1 in 128 billion if you do know about the sport.
In the contest, the grand prize winner would receive 40 annual installments of $25 million or could opt for a lump sum of $500 million. There's also $2 million at stake for creators of less-than-perfect brackets: 20 first prize winners with the closest brackets will receive $100,000 each to use toward buying, refinancing or remodeling a home.
"While there is no simple path to success, it sure doesn't get much easier than filling out a bracket online," says a spokespersson. "To quote a commercial from one of my companies, I'd dare say it's so easy to enter that even a caveman can do it."
As part of the promotion, the sponsors will also donate $1 million to Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations that work on youth education.
"So if you're stuck in a cycle of poverty, you have to share $1 million between thousands of other kids between two cities. But if you're lucky at basketball, you get a billion. Good to know!"
Further details and official rules will be released when the contest begins March 3. That's more than a month to start strategizing how to create the perfect bracket.