Warren Buffet is backing Quicken Loans' billion-dollar perfect bracket contest. What are the odds of picking a perfect bracket?
To pick a perfect bracket, we know that we need to pick 63 games correctly. Without any knowledge of basketball, we can compute that the number of ways to pick the brackets is:
– two times two (equals four)
– times two (equals eight),
– times two (equals 16) and so on, 63 times
This is equivalent to "2 raised to the power 63″ — or "2 ^ 63." This number grows large very quickly. As an aside, some people have said that they can win $1,000,000 by placing a $125 bet and winning 13 bets in a row while rolling the winnings into the next bet. In any case, two raised to the power 63 is a much larger number than a million. A very large number. It is so huge that it is easiest expressed in scientific notation, where we count the number of zeros: