PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s right there for the taking – a billion dollar bracket contest for March Madness and a Mega Millions jackpot worth $400 million.

But are the odds really in your favor?

It’s the pot at the end of the rainbow – the dream of being instantly rich.

“It gives you a chance to think about, will I retire,” says John Mackey, a Carnegie Mellon University professor. “How many yachts will I buy?”

Mackey, a mathematician, tried to explain just how outrageous the odds really are.

“The question is will you pick an ace?” said Mackey holding up a deck of cards. “The odds of winning the Mega Millions are like you picking an ace eight times in a row.”

But the Mega Millions is not the only big jackpot providing champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Billionaire Warren Buffet is offering up a cool billion dollars for the perfect March Madness NCAA Bracket.

But the odds of correctly picking the winners of all the men’s tournament games are not in your favor.

“You can get it down to one in 128 billion, if you know your basketball,” said Mackey.

While Mackey has not invested in a Mega Millions ticket, he has in the bracket contest. Why you ask?

“Since it’s free to play, that means it has a positive expected value for anyone who plays,” he says. “You cannot lose, you only stand to benefit.”

While it’s slim you’ll win either contest, there’s always that chance that the person who wins, will be you.

So, may the odds be ever in your favor!

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