Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a New York Times bestselling author of books for children, decided to conduct a social media experiment of sorts one day. She and a few friends hung one hundred $1 bills from a tree in Chicago. Why? Just to see what would happen and how people would react.
“I had the idea for a long time,” she said. “I finally brought it to life in Chicago.”
“We stuck a short message on each dollar with a removable label,” she explained. “It’s legal, I checked.”
The messages included statements like “Don’t ask, just enjoy,” “Hey look! Free money!” and “It’s sorta like a lucky penny — times 100!”
Fortunately for us, she posted a video of the experiment on YouTube.
“I envisioned the tree being swarmed by people grabbing handfuls of money,” Krouse Rosenthal admitted.
Boy was she wrong.
“Of all the responses I had imagined,” she recalled, “the two most common had never occurred to me. One, that people would walk by a tree filled with free money without even noticing. And two, that people would look at the money tree but they somehow weren’t able to see it.”
Fortunately for us, she made a video of her experiment so you can see for yourself.
“As you watch, please keep this question in the back of your mind,” Amy asks of those viewing her video. “What do you think you would have done in this situation?”
Earlier this year, RaboDirect conducted an similar experiment to see how Aussies would react when presented with a tree full of $5 notes.
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