Cadman Plaza looked more green than ever on Thursday when a plastic case loaded with what appeared to be $100,000 popped up on the pedestrian plaza near the statue of Henry Ward Beecher.
Passersby were eager to get their hands on the stacks of Benjamins, stopping, staring, and occasionally trying to open the see-through display, which was sitting unlabeled and seemingly unguarded.
“It’s either an art project or a game show,” said Ariana Dilorenzo of Manhattan, who stumbled upon the case during a morning jog. “I’m probably on camera right now.”
Dilorenzo was right.
Cameras were trained on the Lucite case, catching bystanders’ reactions to the hefty sum of cash for use in a promotional video for the high-end employment Web site, theladders.com, which only lists jobs that pay more than $100,000 per year.
Onlookers who were caught on camera were asked to sign a waiver. Those that agreed to appear in the ad were given either $20 or $50 — based on their reactions.
By 10 am, the crew had already given out more than $5,000, a production assistant said.
“People are happy to get the free money — some people are even starting to call their friends and tell them to come down here,” said the PA, who noted that the case actually contained far less than $100,000.
Displaying the smaller sum might have been a wise choice.
According to the production assistant, one onlooker examined the cash, fetched a hammer, and shattered the plastic case. The crew calmed the man and replaced the broken cover with a new one.
But many Brooklynites knew that such a huge sum of money couldn’t possibly be up for grabs.
“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” said David Bernard, after eyeing the cash.