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Thursday, October 30, 2014
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(Special to the American Press)

(Special to the American Press)

Your guide to a $1 billion NCAA bracket

Last Modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:28 AM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

The other night I was lounging around, too lazy to reach for the TV clicker, so I was listening to one of those infomercial slick talkers explain how you — well, me, actually, apparently — could eventually make millions of dollars by doing … nothing, best I could tell.

I gathered that you needed to buy the book he was hawking — it was nice that he said he made no profit on it, just enough to cover printing and shipping — with some ridiculously easy steps that will surely make you slap yourself straight in the forehead for not thinking of it first.

It involved no deposed Nigerian princes or finance ministers looking to dump millions on Americans. But, best of all, he said it could happen from the “comfort of your own couch,” which sounded like as good a place as any to make my first million.

He said that, within days of doing whatever nothing the book spelled out, you’d start to see a few goggle eyes roll in, then $500 a day, maybe several thousands a week and up and up and up.

Cash money.

I was slightly skeptical, but there were grinning testimonials from formerly dirt-poor clients, and they were all standing in front of big yachts and fancy swimming pools and them kind of things.

Wow, sign me up. That book, although it looked kind of thick for something so simple, seemed like a small price to pay.

It was tempting, very tempting, and I was writing the phone number down. But then I switched channels and got wind of an even better deal.

I heard tell that Mr. Warren Buffet himself was offering $1 billion cash American dollars just for picking the entire March Madness bracket correctly.

Putting his own money up there. We don’t have to put up any “good faith” money in a bank to get this deal done.

That’s billion dollars with “B,” as in, boy wouldn’t that be a nice windfall to tide you over until the weekend?

Evidently it’s burning a hole in Buffett’s pocket.

Well, my only question was, Does penmanship count?

I just don’t see a “catch” here.

How tough can it be? It’s only 67 games, counting the play-ins. And they’re sitting there already seeded for you. The experts on the NCAA tournament Selection Committee already took care of the tough part for you. Believe me, they studied that thing, scenario by scenario, all winter, and they’re pretty much infallible by this time of the season.

Buffett has the dough, apparently. Shoot, I bet he made millions off the royalties to “Cheeseburger in Paradise” alone.

I just don’t see the catch in this deal.

Maybe tossing around a billion dollars on a whim seems flashy to you, downright irresponsible to others.

But it’s probably just tip money to Buffett, who never fails to invite me over for dinner and cocktails and gentlemanly small talk whenever I’m in his hometown of Omaha for the College World Series.

Or he would, I’m sure, if he had my cellphone number.

He was, unconfirmed rumor had it, upstairs in an Omaha restaurant I was in one night, and I thought about sticking my head in for a quick hello. The look on the face of the maître d’ at the bottom of the stairs, however, suggested “Don’t even think about it.”

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be meeting real soon, just as quickly as I can get up there to pick up the check ­­— for a cool $1 billion.

He’s got it to spare, but here’s the problem: a billion dollars may be nothing but nuisance money to Buffett.

But if you follow my advice and picks here, then suddenly it’s not only me in line to pick up a spare billion. It could be you, your neighbor, your brother-in-law, all your friends and co-workers, whoever you feel like helping out.

Pretty soon, we’re talking real money here. But that’s Buffett’s problem.

They say the odds on this thing are astronomical, but fortunately I have come up with a secret system, possibly foolproof.

Trust me.

It reduces those published odds of a 1-in-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance to next to nothing.

Anyway, pay attention. This is the good part. Your Final Four will be Florida, Wichita State, Michigan State and Baylor.

Am I going too fast for you?

Florida beats Michigan State in one semifinal and then beats Wichita State in the final for our billion dollars.

I realize that’s only three of the 67 games, and you’ve got to get them all right before making Mr. Warren Buffett sweat.

Fortunately, I have the other games, but they’re in this handy booklet that I’ve prepared and will be willing to share for this one-time, today-only, rock-bottom low offer of just $100,0000. It covers printing and shipping and my first yacht.

Make the deposit in the Nigerian bank of your choice.

Do it quick … before Baylor loses.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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