Grab A Billion Dollars

from the read-the-fine-print dept

In yet another and ridiculously more extreme publicity move a new dot com (they’re still starting up dot coms these days??) is launching a contest where you can win $1 billion. Of course, the odds of winning are close to nil (1 in 2.4 billion), you have to agree to receive daily spam, and the payouts come over a 40 year period with the vast majority of it coming at the end ($620 million in the final year). I realize it’s insured and everything, but my question is what happens to the winner’s money (assuming someone actually wins) when this dot com inevitably goes out of business?

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Comments on “Grab A Billion Dollars”

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Todd says:

Still a huge outlay for a startup

Only have my limited-functionality Palm here, but running the NPV on that outlay — if they could pay the entire $1B in year 40, it would cost them $22M today to buy the annuity. Any payments they make sooner (yearly payouts) would raise the price of the annuity, so….do they have the cash? Someone has to win, so I hope they’ve prepped their board for a pretty big check…

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Still a huge outlay for a startup

Hmm… don’t think that’s exactly true. I don’t think anyone “has to win” since it’s still a basic lottery where you need to chose the correct 7 numbers out of 77 and it’s only open for a few months. So, actually, the odds of someone winning are not all that large. Second, I’d actually bet that the costs to the dot com are fixed by the insurance company. They’re paying some sort of fee to the insurance company, and if someone wins then it’s the insurance company’s problem – and I assume they’re hoping and praying that no one wins.

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Still a huge outlay for a startup

I was wondeing whether you could put together a bot that could automatically play for you hundreds of times a day? It would increase your chances by a huge factor and might mean you could make some good money… (sinister smile)… Then take over the WORLD!

Umm… okay maybe you’ll just get banned.

Paul says:

Billion Dollar Give Away


It appears that the company is putting a Trojan Horse on the computers of people who try to win the money in addition to all you say. It’s quite a poorly written written program and distabalizes systems. I think the virus is trying to get new popup advertising from whereever keeps that sort of thing and for all anyone knows, it’s probably sending out every keystroke pressed on a host computer along with information on ever down load.

It also seems that the contest rules cover a million dollars or at least the fine print on the one I read did that.

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