A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa has announced that he will be conducting a social experiment by giving out $9 million to his Twitter followers to see if it improves their happiness.
Maezawa posted a New Year’s message on Twitter announcing he was giving away more than $9 million (or one billion Japanese yen), to be divided between 1,000 lucky people as part of an experiment to see if the extra cash will make them “happy.”
The contest which ended on January 7, 2020, was eligible to anyone who resides in Japan with a Twitter account over the age of 13 and who retweeted his January 1 post.
Over 4 million people participated and the billionaire randomly-selected 1,000 winners, who will receive approximately $9,000 each.
Maezawa will personally notify them in a direct message within two to three days, while the impact of the money will be tracked through regular surveys.
He told the eventual winners to use the money “as they like”, and only asked in return that they answer a questionnaire about their spending afterwards
Maezawa did a similar giveaway in January 2019, and broke a record for the most retweets on Twitter, when he pledged to give away $925,000 (100 million yen) to 100 randomly-selected users who shared his tweet.
He explained in a YouTube video that one of his “biggest regrets” was not explaining his reasoning for the contest last year, which was 10 times smaller than 2020’s giveaway.
“So to put it simply, the purpose of this giveaway is to conduct a social experiment,” Maezawa said in a Youtube video.
“This social experiment is to see whether the 1 million yen that they receive will give them a chance to be happier.”
The billionaire added that he wants to hear how the 1 million yen will affect people’s day to day lives, saying that last year he didn’t get a chance to communicate with the winners, but he hopes to keep in touch this time and hear feedback.