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Explainers - Profiles - January 9, 2020

Japanese Billionaire to Give Away Over $9 million on Twitter Experiment

A Japanese billionaire will give away over $9 million to 1,000 people on Twitter for a social experiment purpose only.

In a news post by CNN, all the recipients would have to do was retweet him.

The social experiment is simply to find out if money will improve the happiness of the recipients.

In an announcement on YouTube, Online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa said he will share up to 1 billion yen (around $9 million) among the Twitter users and winners will have a million yen each (roughly $9,100).

Christened as the “serious social trial,” the tech tycoon called the contest to see what impact a million yen could have on a person’s life.

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Maezawa advised contestants to use the money as they wanted in the Youtube video and also explained that they are to answer regular questionnaires about how they felt using it.

The contest which was open to all to receive a small piece of Maezawa’s fortune, had over 4 million people joining in and retweeting. All they had to do was join Twitter and retweet the announcement tweet before midnight on January 7.

Winners will be selected three days after by a lottery as Maezawa will personally notify them in a direct message in the specified days, and would also contact the lucky winners to inquire abou the impact on them. He then called for social scientists to help analyse the results of the experiment.

The billionaire pulled the same stunt in January 2019. He promised 100 million yen, roughly $914,000, to be shared among 100 Twitter users. They ended up with a bit more than $9,000 each.

He broke a record in the process: His January 2019 tweet was the most retweeted ever at the time, with 4.68 million retweets.

Maezawa is worth an estimated $2 billion, according to Forbes, and has made a name for himself as an eclectic billionaire — a rock musician, hopeful moon tourist and high-rolling art collector. He dropped $111 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting in 2017 — the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by an American artist.

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