Finance - March 21, 2014

Senator-Elect Scott Wagner makes history with write-in win

Voters in the 28th Pennsylvania Senatorial District elected Republic Scott Wanger to fill Senator Waugh’s vacated seat. Wagner made history by being the first candidate to win a state Senate seat as a write-in candidate. Wagner received 10,595 write-in votes or 47.7 percent of the vote. Miller received 26.6 percent and Democrat Lina Small received 25.7 percent. After the Republican Party endorsed State Representative Ron Miller for the seat, Wagner ran as a write-in candidate. Voter turnout was low with only 14% of those registered voting on Tuesday. While low voter turnout for special elections and primary races is often expected, redistricting may be partly to blame for Tuesday’s numbers. York County Director of Elections, Nikki Suchanic said that the turnout could be because some voters who used to be part of the district no longer are and voters new to the district may not realize they now live in the 28th District. Wagner will serve out Senator Waugh’s term, which runs through November 30; he said he is already preparing to campaign for the May primary. Miller will make decision in the next week on whether or not he will run in the primary.


Warren Buffett wants to give someone $1 billion—but there’s a catch

The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament kicked off yesterday. And with it came the dashed hopes of a majority of the people hoping to win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion. Buffett has partnered with Quicken loans to give $1 billion to the winner of their “Billion-Dollar Bracket Challenge.” In order to win, all you’d have to do is complete a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket; correctly picking the winners of 63 playoff college basketball games. Yesterday the University of Dayton ousted Ohio State and with that one game, over 83 percent of the participants in Buffett’s challenge were out. But what are the actual odds of picking a perfect bracket? According to USA Today, 1-in-9.2-quintillion and in case that’s an unimaginable number, USA Today noted that you have a better chance of hitting “four holes-in-one in a single round of golf” than filling out a perfect bracket. Since 1998, ESPN has run a competition for a perfect bracket and in those 16 years with 30 million entries, no one has ever had a perfect bracket. Buffett is well aware of that fact and Quicken has said it will provide the 20 most accurate brackets with $100,000. President Obama even got in on the fun while filling out his bracket this week; when asked what he’d do with Buffett’s $1 billion he joked that someone would probably ask him to pay down more of the federal debt and that Mrs. Obama might want some shoes.

More fun facts from USA Today:

  • If everyone on earth filled out 100 brackets, it would theoretically take 13 million years to get a perfect bracket
  • If all the world's population filled out just one bracket, it could take 1.3 billion years. That means dinosaurs that lived 65 million years ago could have been filling out brackets and we'd still just be 5% of the way to perfection.
  • You have better odds winning the Powerball jackpot (1 in 125 million) three times in a row than you do in getting a perfect bracket