In scenes that reminded some commentators of a medieval burgher tossing gold coins to the grasping peasantry, real estate mogul Donald Trump held a big money giveaway on Wednesday that attracted hundreds of desperate New Yorkers eager to score a few bucks.
After he announced on his Twitter feed that he'd be giving away suitcases filled with cash, a crowd of about a thousand needy people showed up at the Trump Tower lobby in Manhattan to stake their claim to the longed-for giveaway.
According to Gawker the stunt was designed to promote FundAnything, the new crowd-funding internet startup molded on Kickstarter but this time reportedly designed for the 'masses.'
On the morning, Trump asked the crowd who had the toughest luck and then he distributed the money, between $15,000 and $40,000, in suitcases at an event at Trump Tower.
'What's yer problem? What's yer problem? Do you need money?' he shouted at the crowd. In reply some people waved pictures of their kids at him and some reportedly cried.
Trump handpicked a small group of people and and they followed him to an awaiting downstairs room, that was filled with press and cameras.
Standing in front of a podium Trump then proceeded to play three different videos. Each video featured a different person in need of Trump's cash.
The first told the story of a family who was unable to pay their medical bills whilst supporting a family member with cancer. The second showed small business owner struggling to run her educational business in Albany. The third video introduced an aspiring 20-something singer trying to cover production and touring costs.
After the videos played Trump invited the stars to the stage and gave each a suitcase full of money with different amounts: $40,000 went to the wife of the man with lung cancer, (her husband was in the ICU in Canada waiting for a lung).
$15,000 went to the business owner. $25,000 went to the singer. But the show wasn't over yet.
Next a group of young women wearing tight white t-shirts with the FundAnything logo appeared. They stood in front of what looked like a giant fish tank filled with dollar bills that apparently ranged in value up to $100.
The anxious crowd were invited to file by the tank one by one as fast as they could and grab as many bills as they could. No bags were allowed, only their fists. On the balcony above Trump watched them make a grab for the cash.
Trump was last in the headlines when funny man Bill Maher offered to pay him $1 million dollars to prove he was not the product of a human mating with an orangutan.