What If a Group of People Created Their Own Lottery?

Photo credit: Iain Watson, CC BY 2.0.

If you’ve ever thought “what if a bunch of us just created our own lottery,” you’ll want to check out this longread at the New Statesman:

Millionaire Makers began in 2014, inspired by a comment on the site’s “shower thoughts” thread. “If a million of us picked a certain Redditor and all donated just $1, we would have the power to make someone a millionaire,” read the original post. Five days later, Millionaire Makers was born. The premise was simple: users leave a comment to enter (for free), a name is drawn randomly, and then everyone who entered donates a dollar to the winner. There have been 31 draws in the last three years but no one, as of yet, has been made a millionaire. The largest amount of cash ever won is just over $11,000 (£8,200), and the smallest just over $1,000 (£750).

Some of the more interesting aspects of the article include:

  • Even though everyone who enters is supposed to donate a dollar to the winner, that isn’t enforced and not everybody does. (Millionaire Makers can’t collect the money in advance, like an “entry fee,” because then they’d run afoul of the law; they have to urge people to make voluntary donations after the winner is selected.)
  • People are allowed to donate in any currency they choose, and the lottery winners that received Bitcoin are now doing pretty well.
  • Unlike the majority of real-life lottery winners, the winners profiled in the article are happy they got the money and were able to put it to good use.

Read the whole thing and let us know whether you’d want to participate in a similar lottery.


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