It turns out that everybody has a price. A new poll has revealed that for half a million pounds two fifths of Brits would be happy to be shot from a cannon, while another third would be willing to fake their own death. For a million pounds, 31% would be willing never speak to their friends or family again.
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It would take far less to persuade someone to let a stranger in the street tattoo them (47% said they would do it for £10,000), while 40% said they would sell an organ for £100,000. The research from BettingTips4You also found that 41% of people had been paid by friends to do something strange or extreme - with most having been dared to eat or drink something stupid. Bizarrely, 6% had got a tattoo in order to win money from a friend.
Why it's so worrying
It's a frankly alarming study, which reveals we'll do almost anything to make money fast - if we can convince ourselves it's enough money to make the stupidity worthwhile.
1. We're going to get ripped off
Scammers and fraudsters know that many of us have a desire to get rich quick, and they tap into it to spin us a web of lies. It's what lies beneath the traditional scam of offering us a fake lottery win (as long as we send some cash to 'free it up'), or the rich overseas individual who can provide us with endless riches if we send them some money up-front.
If it seems to good to be true, it is. Nobody ever got rich quick with these schemes - but plenty of people got much poorer pretty quickly.
2. We're going to take risks we don't understand
Generally, when it comes to money, there's a close association between risk and reward. The more risk you take, the more potential reward there is. However, on the flip side, the more potential loss there is too.
If we are in search of the overnight fortune, there's a good chance we are focusing on the potential upside, and miss the risk of the downside. It's this kind of thinking that saw so many people pile into tech stocks just before the bubble burst, and so many of them lost everything.
If there's a big potential gain to be made, then look for the big risk you're taking - and consider the downside.
3. We focus too much on what we don't have - and not enough on what we do
Perhaps the most horrifying result in this poll was that people would give up their friends and family for £1 million. The people selecting this option either have the misfortune only to have met terrible people, or they take good friends and family completely for granted - and don't place a high enough value on them.
It's human nature to get used to all the good things in our lives, and focus on what is missing. However, if we chase money at the expense of everything we have, we can easily find ourselves working seven days a week in an all-consuming job, living wherever the pay is highest, and putting off all the good things in life until we have hit a notional wealth target. And while we may end up wealthier - arguably we have done nothing to make our lives richer.