posted by Matt W on March 19th, 2014

Every year I fill out a bracket for March Madness mostly just to say I did. I have turned some of them in for office pools (I do pretty well) and have given them to my children for school pools (my daughter won pizza last year by beating her teachers bracket), but mostly just do them out of habit.

This year Warren Buffet said he would basically serve as an insurance policy for Quicken Loans and guaranteed $1,000,000,000 for a perfect bracket. That’s billion with a B. Interesting. I kind of forgot about it for a while, but when bracket time came around I thought to myself, wow, a billion dollars, I’m going to turn my bracket in, my god, it’s free. I could be a billionaire!

What a freaking hassle it turned out to be.

I never sign up for anything that requires me to give out any personal information, regardless of how much the company promises they’ll “give” or “save” me. I have a junk e-mail account that I have given out on occasion, but rarely ever check it. I am the exact type of person the internet stalky companies hate. So I go online to turn in my bracket and I have to sign up on the Quicken Loans website. They want some basic personal and home buying information and if it is incorrect your bracket is void. I mess around and see what information I have to turn in and decide to submit a fake bracket, just to see how it works. Someone once said to me, “Nothing on the internet is free; they either want your money, or your information to use for themselves or to sell to someone else.” (As an aside, Male Pattern Madness is free to all our readers. No charge, no data mining, unless of course Big Brother is tracking you through us, and if that’s the case, we’re sorry.) Anyway, Quicken Loans is getting information from 15,000,000 potential new customers; with odds in the billions to 1 for a payout, that sounds like a pretty good business decision. When I click submit to send off my fake information, it then says that I have to sign up for a Yahoo account in order to submit the bracket. 15,000,000 more potential Yahoo customers; these guys are good. As part of the questionnaire it asks if you would like to be added to some mailing lists creating more potential customers for even more companies. I’m pretty sure I have never checked one of those boxes and can’t understand why anyone ever would. And those were just the companies that they were up front about giving the information to. Now that’s an impressive data grab.

Well, as a general rule, I try to look at new marketing ideas from the perspective of if I find it offensive, it’s probably a winner. Apparently Quicken Loans and Yahoo are pretty good investment opportunities this year. Now there’s my money maker; I’ll have to look into that later.

So, I exited out and went downstairs to get an Americano. $1,000,000,000… Not worth the hassle.

File Under Jack of all Trades