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The Jellyfish Lottery

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 26, 2014 09:00 AM
The Kamo Aquarium at Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture (Japan) needed to raise funds to renovate and reopen its aging facilities. When the city issued 300 million yen worth of bonds for the aquarium's remodel in April 2013, they sold all the bonds within 20 minutes! In the most recent public offering of bonds, the city decided to run a lottery ... with jellyfish picking the first winners.
The Jellyfish Lottery

Kamo Aquarium director Tatsuo Murakami observes the "jellyfish lottery."

On March 17, 2014, 25 jellyfish were released into a tank with sixteen numbered baskets lining the top and bottom of a narrow one meter long aquarium.  The first two jellyfish that entered baskets picked the lucky bond winners.  Keep in mind the winners didn't win bonds but simply the right to purchase bonds.  A subsequent (conventional) lottery was held on March 20 to determine the remaining winners.

The "jellyfish lottery" was clearly a promotional stunt, and it clearly worked.  The city raised 3.5 billion yen (approximately $34 million USD) for the aquarium through the sale of its municipal bonds, which had a 0.266% higher interest rate compared to Japanese five-year-government bonds.  4,030 people and 34 companies applied to purchase the bonds.  What a remarkable turnout and successful fundraising for a public aquarium!

The remodeled Kamo Aquarium is scheduled to open in June, 2014.

[via Maininchi]

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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