What would you do if you were handed a lump sum of money?
If it happened to me, I would put down a deposit on buying my first property so I wouldn’t have to rent anymore
Channel 5 have done just that to a few lucky families around the UK in a new controversial experiment.
Three families who are currently on benefits have been given £26,000 – which is one years worth of benefits for each of the three families.
They families include a single mother with three children, a young family of six and an older couple with a 21-year-old son at home.
The programme starts with a man arriving on the door step of each families doorstep with a briefcase filled with the cash.
The voiceover cuts in and asks: “Instead of cutting people’s benefits, what if we did the opposite and gave them more money… much more money?”
The lucky families are then seen throwing £10 notes around and popping open the champagne.
But just what did they do with their windfall?
A team of advisors were brought in to help the families, and two couples used the cash to set up businesses – smart move!
Some of the other purchases were…
- A van – and some long-overdue driving lessons.
- Haircuts and a makeover to make herself look more professional.
- £260 on a lizard.
- all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet
The experiment mirrors the system of “unconditional cash transfers”, used to combat poverty in India and Uganda, and currently being considered in Switzerland and Finland.
Executive producer Edwina Silver admitted the show was a “massive risk” for both for producers and participants.
She said: “It has given them the chance to do something different from the life they had on benefits.”
What would you do if you were given a huge cash sum? Would you invest or spend?