11 Weirdly Interesting Facts About Moolah

Posted Feb 24, by Val Liarikos [+]

Aerosmith has made more money from Guitar Hero than from album sales.

Following the release of Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band 2, the popularity of the franchises began to wane. In the wake of this, titles like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and The Beatles Rock Band were being released to a high degree of success.

Though Aerosmith’s own Guitar Hero, released in 2008, was very successful and popular, many people were displeased with some omissions on the song selection. Additionally, many felt that a lack of improvements in the gameplay made the game feel not worth it.

Despite this, the game sold like hotcakes. In its first week, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith sold more than 550,000 copies, grossing more than 25 million in sales. In the following three months, it sold over a million copies and made $50 million dollars. Aerosmith also benefitted in album sales with a 40% sales increase.

Though the exact numbers aren’t known, Aerosmith earned more from the game than album sales. Of course, not all of this was from the game’s royalties. Merchandising and concert sales were both boosted from the game. Today, the game has sold 3.6 million units.

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Money can have the same effect on the brain as using drugs

According to research, making money can cause chemical changes in the brain leading to addiction! For some personality types, money is as addicting as cocaine is. When you pick a career for the shear financial profit of it, each year’s amount becomes the floor that you must succeed from.

Psychologists showed that the exhilarating feelings of earning more and more for those who earn high amounts of money have chemical changes happening in their brain that makes them addicted to it.

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Canada's money is plastic and smells like Maple Syrup!

The new $100 and $50 bills that the Bank of Canada started circulating recently are made of more durable plastic, instead of those made of more traditional paper. They're a little bit more expense (they cost ¢19 instead of ¢10 per bill to make) but they have an expected life that is 2 and a half times longer than the traditional bills they replace.

The bills will also aid Canada battle counterfeiting. The polymer that they're made of is more difficult to fake. They have new holographic security measures, including one in the shape of a maple leaf. As an added bonus, they also smell like maple syrup and they're recyclable, meaning they will have a lower environmental impact than the prior bills.

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UPDATE: Based on some of your comments below, and some more digging, we've found this video of a newscast that talks about the Maple Syrup smell. Some people in it say they smell the Maple, others say it's just a rumor, and through the power of suggestion, people believe that the bill smells like something it doesn't. I've never seen that much Canadian money all at once in my life, so I'll let you guys watch and decide


Scientists taught monkeys the concept of money!

Keith Chen and Laurie Santos gave capuchin monkeys a silver piece with a hole and taught them that the coins could be traded for things like fruit. After all the monkeys understood, each one was given 12 coins to spend on items like grapes and Jell-O.

To find out if the monkeys were mindlessly spending, Chen and Santos lowered the price of Jell-O and raised the price of grapes. The monkeys responded by buying more Jell-O and less grapes, just like how humans act with cash.

The monkeys were even taught to gamble and the monkeys made the same choices as a human would! Later on, observers noticed that one of the capuchin monkeys paid another monkey for sex using the specialty coins. Monkeys aren’t so different from us after all. Also, check out Gaby's video on this here

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It costs more money to keep a prisoner in prison than to fund a student at Princeton!

Princeton University is an Ivy League school. It’s also known for being really expensive. In New Jersey, where Princeton is located, it costs $44,000 to house a prisoner for one year. It costs $37,000 for a student to go to Princeton for one year. The number of African Americans in college dorms is about 270,000 and the number in prison is about 820,000. There are about 16 million college students nationally and 2.3 million prisoners.

The U.S. is ranked number six in the world for degree attainment while ranking number one in incarcerations. Russia ranks number two in incarceration. Russia is actually number one in the world for degree attainment followed by Canada, Israel, Japan, and New Zealand is ranked fifth.

California has the highest cost per inmate in the U.S. at $48,214 spent each year per inmate. Plus seven in ten inmates will return to prison in the state of California, being the worst recitative rate in the U.S.

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George Washington had no money to get to his own inauguration

When it was announced that George Washington had won the election and had become the first President of the United States, he had no way of getting to his inauguration!

Since Washington was not very wealthy, he asked his neighbor, Thomson Mason, to borrow $600 to get to the inauguration in New York. When Washington became the President in 1789, he refused to accept the salary of $25,000 a year! In his lifetime, Washington also rejected handshakes! He preferred bowing at the waist as a sign of respect.

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Only 8% of the world’s currency exists as physical cash!

The rest of the money exists electronically. This is because most countries use what is called Fiat Money, which means that the currency is just a representation of value.

Here's a good way to understand why so much of the money today is electronic: if I send you $20 on a bank wire with no physical bill associated vs. giving you a $20 bill, or giving you $20 worth of gold. What is the difference between wiring $20 and giving you a $20 bill? Nothing really, it's just a different way of transmitting information about money, and placing that amount from one person to another. There is nothing inherently valuable about the paper that the $20 is printed on. On the other hand, gold is considered to have inherent value by itself. Me giving you $20 worth of gold is an actual transfer of a valuable good. Once countries decided not to trade money in gold or precious metals, the need for physical bills diminished, and in the future, money will only become more and more digital.

 Here are some other fun facts about money:

  • The first credit card was issued in 1950 by Diners Club. 
  • After WWII, banks began putting all their transactions on magnetic reels and sending them to the Federal Reserve Bank, this eliminated the need for the $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. 
  • Credit cards were initially just for rich businessmen, but quickly it became clear to banks that they could make millions if they offered them to everyone. 
  • Visa is the largest credit card company in the world. There are over 200 million Visa cards in use in the U.S. alone. 

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A headmaster ate a poisonous spider at an assembly to raise money for a new sports facility at his school.

After less than a month at St. Olave's Grammar School in Orpington, Kent, Aydin Onac has received mixed reactions from parents and students alike. This is mostly due to the recent stunt in which he decided to eat a poisonous tarantula at a school assembly. Fortunately the toxins are rendered harmless during the baking process, so Onac was never in any serious danger. The headmaster says that the tarantula was "very salty and tasted a bit like burnt chicken."
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A drunk trader spent $520 million in oil futures, causing HUGE spike in oil prices!

Steve Perkins had a bad night. In 2009, the PVM oil futures broker got drunk, really drunk, so drunk that he doesn’t remember screwing us over. The broker was only allowed to place trades for clients. He got on and started trading via his laptop in the wee hours of the morning. By the end, he’d spent $520 million of PVM money without having to put much money down upfront. The next day, the damage had already been done and it cost the company $9 million to rectify the issue somewhat, which happened to be ¾ of the company’s annual revenue.

Perkins was banned from trading for five years with a possibility of lifting the ban after that time period. He also had to pay reparations for the damage he caused. On a wide scale, he brought the price of oil up $1.50 a barrel by morning and caused gas prices to soar.

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The Empire State Building makes more money from observation deck ticket sales than from renting office space!

One hundred and ten million people have visited the observation decks of the empire state building. It is the one of the most visited outside observation decks in the world. 

With such a huge number, it’s slightly less surprising that the empire state building actually gets more money from selling tickets to the observation desk than it gets for rent of its offices. 

The Empire State Building has two outside observation desks: one on the 86th floor and one on the 102nd floor. The deck on the 86th floor is the main one, is fairly large, and boasts a 360-degree view of the surrounding city. It is the observation deck included in the general admission. 

For an additionally price, visitors can also continue up to the 102nd floor as well. The deck is smaller, but much higher up. Because the Empire State Building is such a popular attraction to visit, it gets horrendous lines. Visitors can expect long lines out on the sidewalk, in the lobby, in the ticket selling line, at the elevator, and waiting to get out of the elevator onto the deck.

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