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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Japanese billionaire gives away $9 million to followers to boost happiness

Tokyo – Japanese fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa is giving away $9 million to his Twitter followers in what he says is a “social experiment” to see if the payment boosts their happiness.

Maezawa will give 1 million yen ($9,000) to 1,000 followers selected at random from those who retweeted a Jan. 1 post, with the impact of the money to be tracked through regular surveys.

“It’s a serious social experiment,” said Maezawa on YouTube, adding he hopes to attract interest from academics and economists.

Maezawa, who is to be the first private passenger to fly around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is known for his high spending on art and sports cars but also has a predilection for musing on ideas like a world without money.

He tied the giveaway to the idea of basic income, or the theory of providing a periodic no-strings-attached payment to all citizens, that has gained traction in some political circles and is backed by Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

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