The Airplane Game
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By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum
Here’s a great game that someone invented that can make people rich real quick. It works like this. Imagine a plane which can seat eight passengers, four crew members, two co-pilots plus one main pilot. Everyone of the eight passengers getting on the plane must pay the main pilot $1,500. When the pilot fills the plane with eight passengers and receives his $12,000 he leaves the plane. The plane now splits into two planes with each of the previous co-pilots now becoming the main pilots of the two new planes. The previous four crew members now also split and become the two co-pilots on the two new planes. The previous eight passengers are now divided into two crews of four each and board the two new planes. The job of these two crews of four is to find eight new passengers that will each pay the pilot $1,500 to get onto their plane. As soon as sixteen new passengers are found, the pilots take their money and leave and the planes are split again. This would mean that a passenger would invest $1,500 and receive all of $12,000 when he would ultimately become the pilot of the plane. Pilots could continue making more money by becoming passengers on the new planes. This could continue on with millions of people all becoming very rich.
Sounds like a great game? Many people played this game in the early 1970’s until the government declared it illegal. Can you figure out why the government would stop such a great get rich quick scheme?
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Each plane needs 15 people.
Many variations of the above pyramid scam are constantly popping up with a few people making some money and the vast majority of people losing their entire investment. Some of these scams are even advertised in some of our Yiddish papers and many Jews have lost their money in schemes called “Winners Circle,” “JewelWay” and others. A recent article in the Nov. 2003 Readers Digest contained a clever variation of this scam game called “Gifting Circles.” Thousands of people fell for it and lost their initial $5,000 investment so better watch out. Beside being illegal, most people will also lose their money. Why? See if you’re clever enough to figure it out.