Moola: A Genius Business Model That Lets You Get Rich By Taking Money From Other People


I was invited to the other day. Like usual, I sat on the invite because I figured it was some new dumb Web2.0 thing. But the guy that sent it to me is pretty sharp so I thought I should at least check it out. I've been on for a day or two and I have to say it is one of the coolest business models I have ever seen.

Moola works on a simple idea – double a penny 30 times and you have over $10,000,000. Sounds easy right? Yes. It does sound easy, which is why people will sign up to play. Moola gives you a penny to start. You spend that penny to play another person with a penny. The winner gets both pennies. Then you can play someone with two pennies. Winner gets four pennies. And so on. So where do the pennies come from? Advertisers. You have to watch an ad before you can play. Not only that, but you have to answer a question about the ad. It's an attentive audience. Genius.

You can cash out at any time, which makes me wonder if anyone will ever really reach $10 million. If you have half that, are you willing to make an all or nothing bet to go for the whole thing? Most people probably won't. You can see the last few cash-outs, and they are usually around $200.

The games are part luck and part strategy. A knowledge of game theory will probably help you out. Each game only lasts a few minutes, so the key is to figure out your opponent's strategy and then use that to put yourself in a position of advantage. The first few levels are pretty easy, as some people seem to employ random strategies. But once you get into a couple of dollars a round, the competition is much better.

So is it easy? Well, your chances of winning 30 games in a row are (1/2) to the 30th power, which is… a really big number. But if you understand the games, you can probably improve your odds a bit using a good strategy. I doubt many people will ever strike it rich, but I can see some people making a few thousand bucks from time to time.

If you want to check it out, I have a few invites left. And Moola may give me a few more as time goes on. Send an email to and I'll keep a list of people to invite as I get more, until Moola gets out of beta.

UPDATE: I'm out of Moola invites, and have a list that will probably take me through next Tues or Wed, assuming Moola keeps doling them out at the same rate. But still send an email if you want one and I'll keep a running list of first come first serve.

UPDATE2: Also check out the forums at Moola Gurus for tips, tricks, and strategies.

  • So what’s the business model then? Are they helping advertisers improve their ads by trying out a few different versions and subjecting them to review by the public?

  • Rob

    Advertisers are paying for your attention. It’s much better than say, putting an ad on TV where someone will tivo it and skip it.

  • JRM

    I think the business model is to make more money then they are giving out. If the Advertisers are using the site as a testing ground that would be fine by Moola.

    I like the concept. The format seems to use the create buzz with will connected people, allowing them to make a little money, and pass the information on to others in their network. Seems like the Tipping Point concept to me.

  • El Queso Grande


    The bigger issue is that there is zero chance that you would ever be able to win the $10+ million in the first place. First off, the odds of you winning a straightforward 50/50 game of doubling $0.01 into $10+ million are 2^32 (two to the power of 32) – exceptionally small to begin with.

    The failure of the model is that you always need to find a real-world person with the same $$$ level as you to bet against in order to win that person’s money. Yep, in order to win the top prize, you have to find someone who won $5 million felt strongly that they would rather risk it against you in a flash game versus cashing out. Before you got to that $5 million opponent, both you and he/she would need to have found others willing to lose their $2.5 million…and before that $1.25 million…before that $600k, $300k, $150k, etc.

    Most people on that site seem to press the “cash in” button at the $10 to (max) $150 level.

    The business concept is VERY interesting, but flawed to the degree that the site will likely not get out of the beta concept. A couple of twists on this idea might make it more worthwhile though…hmm…

  • me

    you bank into you’re savings account every know and then you cant take money from savings to play only to cash out and if no one will play on you’re level then moola will battle you

  • ron

    fun way to pass the time. I have plenty of invites