What have we learned?
IF WE WIN is an ongoing research project, meant to raise and explore a broad set of questions that live with us in the distance between money and wealth. While this project does not hope to find definitive answers, you will find pieces of the data collected here, in order to better inform your own questions, and to allow you to sit with the uncertainty they bring in the company of others who have done before.
Most of the data collected comes from a performative exchange: 3 participants at a time are given a lottery ticket with a top prize of no less than $25,000 per person; in return, they agree to each set down in writing a plan for spending their winnings. If they win, the ticket is theirs to cash. If they lose, the ticket enters the archives of the research project, along with the written plan.
You can see excerpts from the archives below,
read transcripts of past sessions,
or see the research questions contributed by participants.
Researchers or Artists interested in accessing raw data from participants (with personal details withheld) may contact the artist directly.
Participants in IF WE WIN are offered the chance to add research questions to the piece, which are (gradually) answered here below.
Unanswered Research Questions
What are the Demographics of who is buying tickets?
What if someone unbanked wins the lottery?
Has anyone faked a ticket?
Is this gambling?
Who Plays the lottery (demographics)?
What is the average spending on lotto tickets?
What are the thresholds like for losing money?
Bonus play again?
Did a game theory experiment in "Soviet Russia" prove that people will always accept what they are given?
What % of people are pathological gamblers? Is it genetic?
How do I avoid fees at my bank?
Is there a bird-name for ROSCAS?
What are the statistics of how long/severe income inequality must be before revolution starts, historically?
How common is fraud in the lottery? Is there a black market for stolen tickets? How does lottery fraud compare to vaccine card fraud?
When countries get rid of pennies/small currency units, is there a surplus/deficit?
How hard is it to steal stolen pennies?
What does "refinancing a mortgage" even mean?
Can you make a good playlist about money?
Does the "Happiness Treadmill" apply to lump sums, or annual incomes?
What is the average medical debt?
How much does Gus (the groundhog) cost? Is Gus trademarked? How many Gus' have there been?
What is the long term viability of Crypto? What's the point of it all?
What is the population of Greenland? Sierra Leone?
Does America have a credit score?
Where does the CEO of the Pennsylvania Lottery live?
What type of art does Mike make?
What determines the end of a scratch lottery game?
How often are top prizes unclaimed?
When the United States pays interest on its national debt, who is that interest going to?
How much of our national debt is to China? How much of their debt is to the United States?