How This IT Guy Rigged A Promotional Contest And Ended Up Winning $44 MILLION!

By on August 24, 2016 in ArticlesEntertainment

Although they can be tempting, most of us know that get rich quick schemes never actually work. Even if you do manage to make some money, it's unlikely that its sustainable, or going to impact your life in any meaningful way.

Unless you're Eric Martin.

Martin, a 28-year-old IT guy, who works for a custom bath installation company in York, Pennsylvania, pulled what might go down in history as the most honest and effective get rich quick strategies of all time.

Photo via under Commons

It all began with a contest hosted by a one-year-old internet startup called The startup's goal is to be a one-stop-shop online superstore for groceries, furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. Jet was hosting a promotional contest in which the person who got the largest number of friends to sign up to their "insider" program would be given 100,000 company shares as a prize.

Instead of asking a few buds if they'd be interested in signing up, Martin had his sights on a much higher number in order to guarantee that he would receive those shares. He would eventually get over 8000 people to sign up for Jet's promotional program in just three weeks.

How? He found the interested parties via advertising. He spent $18,000 of his own money putting up ads to entice people to sign up for through him. made good on their promise, forking over 100,000 shares to Martin back in February. Last year, when the company was worth $1.5 billion, Martin's shares were worth and estimated $20 million.

Then Wal-Mart stepped in and bought inc for $3.3 billion. By the basic power of math, Eric's shares would now be worth $44 million. Not a bad return on an $18,000 investment into a get rich quick scheme!

Articles Written by Mia Bencivenga
Mia Bencivenga is a writer, editor, project-manager, and overall word enthusiast. Prior to her adventures in the literary world, she received her bachelor's degree in Linguistics and a certificate in the Arabic Language and Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh. On most days you can find her dutifully writing and sipping in a number of Pittsburgh's tea houses. Follow her on Twitter @MiasMiniRants
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