by Steven Tweedie
Reddit wants to use its power to create its own #millionaire by convincing one million Redditors to each donate a dollar to a randomly selected user.
The idea actually started some eight months ago, when a Redditor posted the musing on the Reddit forum “ShowerThoughts,” which touts itself as a “subreddit for you to share all those thoughts, ideas, or philosophical questions that race through your head when in the shower.”
Since then, a new subreddit called “millionairemakers” was created to rally others around the idea, and there have been eight previous attempts to achieve the #crowdfunding feat.
None of the past attempts have been successful, however, with the selected winners only receiving about $US11,400 at its peak, and the lowest payout only about $US1,842 — offering a fascinating look at both the subreddit’s actual reach and the vastly varying rates of people who actually follow through and donate a dollar to the winner.
So how’s it work?
On the third Friday of every month, the subreddit will open the drawing to anyone who signs in to a Reddit account that has existed for more than 30 days, and one that contains a history of activity. This is to ensure people aren’t creating multiple accounts to increase their chances of winning.
Once you sign in, you can then post a new comment — don’t reply to an existing comment — which acts as your official entry into the experiment, and represents your willingness to donate a dollar to the winner.
The winner is selected randomly after the contest has been open for 24 hours, and then everyone is supposed to donate a dollar to the winning Redditor. The subreddit also offers a handy string of text you can add to your comment entry which will cause a Reddit bot to send you a direct message as a reminder to donate once the experiment comes to a close.
Payments are handled by using a bitcoin wallet or #paypal account.
“Remember, this is about generosity, about making history, and about coming together to make someone’s life better,” the MillionaireMakers experiment reads. “So take 3 minutes to donate a bit to the winner, whether you’re well off and want to donate a few bucks, or going through tough times and can only donate a few cents. Every cent counts.”