While thinking idly about ways to tactfully pass money to people, I had an idea. A company could sell lottery tickets (probably of the scratch-and-win sort) that are guaranteed to pay out specific amounts. You would buy them for the face value plus a service fee. They could be issued in denominations running from $10 or so up to thousands.
They would look like ordinary tickets, and could be redeemed at places that sell scratch-and-win tickets. The merchant would simply be compensated by the company. Even better, the company could buy guaranteed winner tickets from the normal ticket issuers. That way, they would be available in the same brands as tickets sold in normal shops, diminishing suspicion and allowing buyers to choose something suitable for the recipient.
This could be:
- A way to help a struggling friend of family member without making them feel guilty.
- A way to convince someone feeling down on their luck that things are turning around.
- Practical jokes of various sorts.
- Less benevolently, as a semi-covert means of exchanging money.
Could there be any other uses? Would people actually buy such a thing? Would lottery regulators ever permit them?