WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Japanese billionaire is giving away more than $9 million to 1,000 randomly-selected Twitter followers in an experiment to see if more money leads to happiness.
- Online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa posted his tweet on Jan. 5 and it had been retweeted about 5 million times.
- Maezawa, the 18th richest man in Japan according to Forbes magazine, made the same stunt in January 2019 when he offered 100 million yen (about $914,000) to be shared among 100 of his Twitter followers.
A Japanese billionaire is giving away over $9 million to 1,000 people on Twitter to see if it improves their happiness. All they had to do to get it was retweet him.
Online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa will divide 1 billion yen (around $9 million) among 1, 000 of his Twitter followers. The winners will get 1 million yen each (roughly $9,100).
In an announcement on YouTube, Maezawa called the contest a “serious social trial” to see how a million yen could impact a person’s life. The tycoon urged contestants to use the cash prize “as they like” and to answer regular questionnaires about how they’re using it.
Almost anybody was eligible to receive the small piece of Maezawa’s fortune. All they had to do was join Twitter and retweet his post before midnight on January 7.
Nearly 5 million people retweeted his announcement. A lottery will determine the winners, and Maezawa will personally notify them in a direct message within two to three days.
He also said that he would contact the lucky winners afterward to ask about the impact, and called for social scientists to help analyze the results of the experiment.
In January 2019, Maezawa pulled the same stunt by promising 100 million yen, roughly $914,000, to be shared among 100 Twitter users. The winners ended up with a bit more than $9,000 each.
His January 2019 tweet was the most retweeted post ever at the time, with 4.68 million retweets.
Maezawa, who founded Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown, in 2004, is worth $2.7 billion according to Forbes.
He has made a name for himself as an eclectic billionaire, rock musician, hopeful moon tourist and high-rolling art collector. He reportedly spent $111 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting in 2017 — the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by an American artist.
Maezawa also hopes to become the first space tourist on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Space X flight to the moon.