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Fresh on the heels of H&R Block’s “Get Your Billion Back, America” campaign, now we have the Yahoo/Quicken Loans “Billion Dollar Bracket” campaign. Unlike the sleight of hand employed by H&R Block, this concept is even eviler. The H&R campaign just twists big numbers around in your head in the hopes you’ll choose them to do your taxes, with Yahoo you must surrender your personal data.

So it goes like this – if you pick a perfect NCAA bracket for the 2014 Men’s Basketball Tournament (March Madness), you win a billion dollars. That’s right, you win as much as Americans overpay in taxes every year.  All you have to do is register through Yahoo Sports, pick your bracket, and then sit back and collect the money. Easy enough bet, right?


It’s a safe bet for Yahoo and Quicken Loans, that’s for sure. They’re not going to give away a billion dollars. Don’t be absurd. They’re just going to spend a few million on Facebook advertising to get as many suckers, I mean players, signed up as possible and then take long money baths in the data they glean. Warren Buffet is no dummy.

“Statistically speaking, the odds of getting a perfect NCAA tournament bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s 9.2 quintillion is 9.2 billion written 1 billion times. If everyone on earth filled out 100 brackets, it would theoretically take 13 million years to get a perfect bracket.” USA Today.

Dude, you have to understand – your data is your gold. Don’t be fooled by ridiculous claims. You’re not that desperate. Or gullible. Skip the “Billion Dollar Bracket.” Don’t let them make a fool out of you.

(They’re even selling ad space at the bottom of the game’s home page. It’s a racket. It’s always a racket.)

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Jim Mitchem sucks the fun out of everything

The Curse
Night of the Hunter

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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