get rich real quick
February 22, 2006 5:13 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to make the most amount of money in 2 hours with $5?

I'm taking part in an Apprentice-style challenge for a class. The goal is to use $5 to make the most amount of money in two hours. The time starts when you begin using the money. The rules are deliberately vague, so making assumptions is ok as long as you're not trying to cheat the system. Otherwise, just about anything goes, from selling things to street performing to hitting the slot machines. Oh, and the point of the assignment is leveraging all possible resources, so outside consultation is encouraged (i.e. don't feel like you're doing my homework for me).
posted by mshrike to Work & Money (33 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
1) Buy as much bottled water as you can afford and a bag of ice.
2) Chill water.
3) Stand at end of highway off-ramp or busy intersection and sell water for $2/bottle.
4) Goto 1.

Since its winter, maybe try coffe, but that would probably break your budget, unless you got creative.
posted by ChasFile at 5:17 PM on February 22, 2006


Spend < $1 making a sign -- need $$$ for six pack of heineken. stand near freeway exit and wait.br>
(your beer may vary)
posted by tkolar at 5:20 PM on February 22, 2006


Yeah, begging could be suprisingly effective.
posted by phrontist at 5:28 PM on February 22, 2006


Go to a college campus with a large stoner population a stand in a popualted area holding a sign that says "I bet you a dollar you read my sign." Deoending on how large crowd, you can make ~ $60 an hour this way.
posted by FearAndLoathingInLJ at 5:29 PM on February 22, 2006


I'd play online poker tournament.
posted by Flamingo at 5:30 PM on February 22, 2006


Damn, that post needed spellcheck like I need a sandwich.
posted by FearAndLoathingInLJ at 5:30 PM on February 22, 2006


I vote for panhandling. Good money.
posted by Justinian at 5:33 PM on February 22, 2006


Use the five bucks to take the bus to a sperm donation clinic. Plenty of healthy handsome males have paid their way through college tis way.
posted by orthogonality at 5:39 PM on February 22, 2006


Back in my twenties I lived in a scary roominghouse which was otherwise populated by people on disability or on drugs or both. One of them told me he used to go around to newspaper boxes, put in a nickel, and pull the coin return lever. Apparently it's common for people to put in too much money and not bother to hit the lever to get it back. He said he used to pick up a surprising amount of money, a little at each machine.
posted by orange swan at 5:39 PM on February 22, 2006


if you panhandle, make change with the 5 and put it in your cup or hat or whatever you use
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:40 PM on February 22, 2006


You don't say how old you are, but I made boatloads of cash in high school selling snacks between third and fourth period in the main hallway. Just before lunch, but you don't have time to leave between classes...any captive population would work but kids are good because they're always hungry.

In college a, ummm...friend....made money by selling porn mags to underage kids. *cough*
posted by cali at 5:41 PM on February 22, 2006


Use the $5 to buy a TSA confiscated knife off eBay. Rob your classmates when they come to class to show off their money.

To be safe, get both the professor and campus security on your side by letting them in ahead of time, and promising to give back the money (a fake hostage class project at my college nearly went horribly wrong).

To make sure you win, break the promise to give the money back if campus security isn't looking.
posted by QIbHom at 5:44 PM on February 22, 2006


If you panhandle, please give the money to charity afterwards.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 PM on February 22, 2006


It depends on the number of people you're trying to beat, I think.
If you were trying to maximize return, then something risk-free like begging sounds pretty good.
But you're not. From your description, you're trying to maximize the chance that you make more money than the other contestants.
If there's only say 10-100 of them, then you probably don't need a lot of money to win. I figure the roulette wheel is pretty good.
If there's millions (which doesn't match the description), you need to go much riskier to be the one on top. Maybe the $5 slots.
posted by Aknaton at 5:48 PM on February 22, 2006


Go buy some beer with the $5, then get a dropcash account (http://www.dropcash.com/) and panhandle online. Make sure you tell people that you'll be donating the $$$ to charity. Post link here, I'll give ya $5 if the charity's worthwile :)
posted by slhack3r at 5:50 PM on February 22, 2006


Auction the $5 bill on eBay, explaining your story as you did here and link it on Mefi projects. You could even tell bidders that if you win the challenge the total price achieved will be split between everyone who bids, or be put to charity.
posted by fire&wings at 5:50 PM on February 22, 2006


Better, setup the dropcash account, then go play the slots w/ the $5. :)
posted by slhack3r at 5:51 PM on February 22, 2006


Slots nothing. From the assumption that you're going to win, put those $5 into lottery tickets, the highest jackpots you can find. As long as risk isn't factored in, that's the most amount of money you can make from a $5 investment.
posted by klangklangston at 5:56 PM on February 22, 2006


Selling water on the roadside? Already done.
posted by sixacross at 5:59 PM on February 22, 2006


Buy a mouse at a pet store. Go to a PETA meeting and tell them you will eat the mouse unless they give you $1000.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:41 PM on February 22, 2006


Uhh, remember this all has to happen in two hours. I don't see how:
Auction the $5 bill on eBay, explaining your story as you did here and link it on Mefi projects.
...would ever work. How would you generate the buzz necessary to get bidders in only 2 hours? Can you even create an ebay auction that short?

I think begging or some other form of public (i.e. real-life) interaction with a crowd is the best. Other than gambling (and perhaps day-trading) I don't think there's anything online that can work in that small of a window.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:47 PM on February 22, 2006


Auction the $5 bill on eBay ... tell bidders that if you win the challenge the total price achieved will be split between everyone who bids.

That gives me an idea for a Ponzi-like scheme. Instead of an auction, run it like a lottery. People can put in as much money as they like. The total amount will be split between the top ten people who contribute the largest amount. You'd just need to find a group of people who think they can outbid the others without it costing them too much.
posted by sfenders at 7:08 PM on February 22, 2006


The time starts when you begin using the money.

You don't pay eBay fees until the end of the auction. You keep the bill itself until the winning bidder pays up. Ergo, the clock doesn't start until the money is in your PayPal account. Now if you have to convert that to cash money in two hours, that could be trickier.

I've heard of sfenders' lottery scheme before, I think, maybe in a game theory class or something? Only thing is, it has to be against eBay rules, right? (don't feel like checking, but c'mon...)
posted by SuperNova at 7:27 PM on February 22, 2006


SuperNova writes "I've heard of sfenders' lottery scheme before, I think, maybe in a game theory class or something? "

It's similar to John von Neumann's dollar auction, but without the constraint that the payoff is set. Both the proposed and von Neumann's game can be seen as models of firms engaged in R&D towards gaining a monopoly, as e.g.a patent.
posted by orthogonality at 7:40 PM on February 22, 2006


1) Go to hardware store.
2) Buy a piece of wood that you can wield one handed, less than four feet long.
3) How many people can you club and rob in two hours?
posted by baphomet at 7:54 PM on February 22, 2006


They had to do this on the first episode of the new series of The Apprentice tonight actually. Well, except it was about a hunred times more cash. But.. the girl's team managed to get a whole ton of fruit for free and spent about $80 all in all for various bits and pieces, and ended up coming back with several hundred in takings for the day.

The boy's team were smarter, IMHO, although they didn't make as much.. but they 'psyched' people into paying more than other people for single items of fruit.. one woman paid like $5 for an apple.
posted by wackybrit at 7:57 PM on February 22, 2006


take it to kinkos and print raffle tickets.
posted by crabintheocean at 8:15 PM on February 22, 2006


Paperboy in the fifth race at Santa Anita is going off at 10-to-1.
posted by frogan at 9:06 PM on February 22, 2006


wow, thanks for all the suggestions! it seems like gambling, panhandling, selling stuff, and a fundraiser have a lot of support. the concepts behind the dollar auction/lottery are also very interesting. we'll incorporate all the ideas here in our brainstorming, and i'll post an update to let you know how it turns out.
posted by mshrike at 11:38 PM on February 22, 2006


they 'psyched' people into paying more than other people for single items of fruit.. one woman paid like $5 for an apple.
posted by wackybrit at 7:57 PM PST on February 22 [!]


How the heck do you 'psyche' someone into paying $5 for an apple?
posted by Radio7 at 1:36 AM on February 23, 2006


I used to pull in pretty good money with the acoustic guitar/bucket drums in Brooklyn subways.

Prostitution?

Street Dice?

Sorry mine are all illegal.
posted by sophist at 2:00 AM on February 23, 2006


How the heck do you 'psyche' someone into paying $5 for an apple?
Buy this apple or I'll beat your ass?
posted by tr33hggr at 8:14 AM on February 24, 2006


the most successful teams got corporate sponsors. the highest total was over $400 and came from selling space on the final presentation slides for advertising.
posted by mshrike at 4:58 PM on February 27, 2006


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