How cheap are the rich?
This question was answered by an experiment that Spy magazine did and reported on in the early 1990s. They determined that the best method was to send a series of small checks to wealthy and prominent men and women and see who cashed the checks. Spy magazine started a company called the National Refund Clearinghouse and used it as a way to send the people the small amounts of money.
They sent $1.11 to fifty-eight well-known people and told them the refund was due to a computer error. Sent to their home address, twenty-six of the original fifty-eight cashed the check. Some of these people were Cher, Steve Ross, Donald Trump, and Henry Kravis. To see if anyone else that hadn’t originally cashed the checks was still interested, Spy magazine sent a $2 check and six more people cashed the checks, with two additional people cashing them at $3.47.
Of the original twenty-six, another check worth 64 cents was sent and thirteen of them cashed the check. This included people like Cher, Adnan Khashoggi, Donald Trump, and Rupert Murdoch. Amazed that some of America’s richest would cash a small check, the magazine then sent the thirteen a check for only 13 cents. Only two people cashed these checks. Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer who was once a billionaire, and Donald Trump, a billionaire casino owner and later the president of the United States of America.
Written by Josh Yohe
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