Man May Be Rich Thanks to Ridiculous Internet Grift

But you'll have to pay $1 to find out
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2017 4:09 PM CDT
Man May Be Rich Thanks to Ridiculous Internet Grift
So many people were willing to pay Johan McCubbin $1 simply to find out how many other people paid him $1 that his website crashed.   (Screenshot)

“I know there are loads of simple ideas that can make a man rich," Johan McCubbin tells the Guardian. That's true, and there may be none simpler than McCubbin's website, How Many People Paid a Dollar to See How Many People Paid a Dollar, which the software developer created last spring. The site works like this: You give McCubbin $1, and he'll tell you how many other people also gave him $1 for the same reason. And that's it. "I find the concept of 'selling nothing for something' really interesting," McCubbin tells Motherboard.

Motherboard calls the site "genius." That opinion is supported by the events of Thursday night, when so many people apparently tried to pay McCubbin $1 that his site crashed and PayPal started looking into his account for "suspicious activity." McCubbin says his original hope was just to make back the money it cost to register the domain name and host the site, but it's safe to say he's exceeded those expectations. To find out by just how much, you'll have to pay $1. Motherboard does give one clue: "It is more than anyone has any right to make off of a website running one line of text and a PayPal link." (More internet stories.)

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