How to Get Thousands of People to Give You Money

Put your Venmo ID on a sign.

Today in “well, I guess this happened:”

How One College Student Got 3,000 Strangers To Venmo Him Beer Money

Much like the ongoing flood of tourists brandishing signs outside of The Today Show, hoping they’re seen by loved ones at home, sports fans are known to bring signs to nationally televised games. Among the many propped up like corn stalks in a field, one sign in particular stood out among ESPN College Game Day’s broadcast. The sign belonged to one Sam Crowder, who had inscribed the message: “Hi Mom! Send beer money,” which is the very essence of College Sign 101. However, Crowder took this standard-issue theme to the next level by drawing the Venmo logo along with his Venmo ID, making it super easy for his mother — or anyone, hypothetically — to send him that beer money. The call to arms did not go unnoticed.

It didn’t hurt that College Game Day’s Twitter account, which has 1.66 million followers, shared the sign with the world:

That count is laughably off, by the way. It turns out that over 3,000 people sent cash, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was still climbing.

In fact, I went to Venmo to check—because Venmo lets you watch people pay each other in real time, that’s not creepy at all—and discovered not only that people were still sending SamC2270 money, but that there were already enterprising Venmo users ready to take advantage of people who couldn’t quite remember Sam’s Venmo ID:

We literally take every opportunity to make a buck. I am not sure whether to be impressed or disgusted by humanity.

What’s SamC2270's next move? Selling $21.99 T-shirts to help other people cash in on his idea:

I wonder how many people will earn back the cost of the shirt.

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