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Why Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is giving away $9 million to his Twitter followers

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

The fashion mogul, in a social experiment, wants to see whether the money will make them happy

It was a joyous moment for Japanese fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa’s Twitter followers as the billionaire announced that he was giving away more than $9,000 each to 1,000 of his followers for a ‘social experiment’, according to a Reuters report.

Maezawa had earlier released a video on YouTube announcing his decision to give away $9 million, to be distributed between 1,000 of his Twitter followers.

Lottery system

He then sent out a tweet giving the details of this challenge, and asked his followers to re-tweet the same by January 7. From over 4 million followers who shared the tweet, 1,000 lucky ones will be selected through a lottery and be given approximately $9,000 each to spend as they fancy.

The winners will be contacted directly by the billionaire by January 10 and given their prize money.

The agenda behind this sudden generosity? A social experiment to understand if money can truly by happiness. The entrepreneur was quoted in the Reuters report as saying that he had the ‘time and money’ to carry out such experiments.

He tied the ‘gift’ to the concept of basic income, said the Reuters report. “‘Basic’ means a regular minimum amount offering a sense of security. What Maezawa is offering is totally different,” the report quoted Toshihiro Nagahama, senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, as saying.

Tracking happiness

Through periodic surveys, Maezawa will be keeping track of the 1,000 lucky winners and how they spend their prize money, to understand if the money really did make them happy.

The fashion mogul had already pulled this stunt back in January 2019, according to a report in CNN Business. The report said he had pledged ¥100 million (roughly $914,000), to be divided among 100 Twitter users. At 4.68 million retweets, his January 2019 tweet had broken records.

Maezawa, no stranger to extravagance, thrives on rock music and elite art collections. He is   set to be the first private passenger to fly around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to a report in Business Insider.

According to Forbes, Maezawa’s net worth amounts to $2 billion.

Published on January 09, 2020
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