Do you think the site's popularity is related to the economy or would people get excited about found money even in a better economic climate?
Cook: I think even if it were better economic times, there would still be some people who just enjoy the thrill of finding the money. There would still be college students, people who are unemployed who would enjoy it. I think even if it weren't for the economy, people would have fun with it. Because the economy is where it is right now, that probably does play a secondary role in people's excitement.
Grant: I think that even if we were putting $10 or $30 in the envelope, I think we'd get the same amount of interest. I think it's a lot to do with fun. Anyone could use $20, but it's adventurous to see if you're the one to find the money. Almost everyone sends us a silly picture of them with the money that they know will go on our Facebook page. It'll be interesting to see once we start putting more money in the envelope, if that correlates to more interest.
Giving away a twenty a day must get expensive. How do you fund the project?
Grant: Over 90 percent of the money is ours out of our pocket. The plan has been to start hiding the money in local businesses. We've had some friends who were like a real estate agent and my friend has a consignment shop, so they've sponsored a twenty for a day. The idea is to start hiding the money in local businesses. They'll get some exposure on our website and some foot traffic with everyone trying to get here, and maybe if you don't get there in time to get the twenty, the business will give you a $20 gift card. I think there are a lot of opportunities here.
Cook: We've been thinking about and talking to local businesses, but our main point is to keep having fun.
Has this changed your attitude toward money at all?
Cook: I think that our society has an interesting relationship with money. It can be a confusing relationship. The social experiment shines a different light on money. I don't know exactly what that means yet, but it does pose an interesting question on money, its meaning, and its significance in people's lives. It's something we're exploring.
Grant: I don't know that it's changed my attitude toward money per se. I think it's a little counterintuitive what we're doing. It's counterintuitive to think you can make money by giving it away. We're certainly not against profit—you should see my law school debt—because the more revenue we get also means the more money we can give away. If local businesses or even big businesses sponsor us, we could be able to give away more than a twenty.