Meet Ellwood "Bunky" Bartlett. He's a practicing Wiccan, a retired accountant, and the winner of Maryland's Mega Millions jackpot, which netted him $US42 million back in 2007.
He also wants your money to help make a game. Using crowdfunding site Kickstarter, Bartlett is asking for $US1.1 million to create Your World, a massively multiplayer online game "built by gamers for gamers funded by gamers."
Described as "all of the good things in Second Life, World of Warcraft, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic and the like all rolled up into one game," Bartlett's Kickstarter project has been the object of much derision on Twitter today, where some have mocked its lofty goals and error-riddled language. There's no concept art or even much explanation as to how the game will run. It only promises to be "nothing like what is out there."
But if Bartlett is a millionaire, why does he need Kickstarter? I tracked him down to find out.
"A smart investor has partners," Bartlett told me in an e-mail. "I will be investing as well. This also helps me to see if there is actual interest in the type of game I am proposing."
As of this afternoon, Ellwood Bartlett's Kickstarter page had earned $US1 of its $US1.1 million goal.
I asked if he's ever worked in game development before.
"I have not, but I never owned an investment company or a pizza shop before, but I do now," Bartlett said. "I am the idea man. I think it, get other investors, and hire the right people to make it happen. Been playing games since Pong. I know what I like and what others have said they would like. I will hire those needed to make it a reality."
Bartlett is certainly enthusiastic about this project. His ideas might not be fully formulated, but you can feel the passion and excitement in the description on his Kickstarter page:
[N]o this race against that race. We will be a world of cooperation. We will work together to create a place we all will love. We will still be able to battle each other in Olympic type games, but we will not pit one race against another. We will still have outside forces for us to join together to defeat, but we will not be killing each other. You will surrender to your Victor, but not die. Only the outside forces will be able to kill you and do damage to your equipment.
I hope you will fund this game so we all can have a game we will play for years to come!
Of course, the chances of a first-time game producer hitting a milestone like $US1.1 million in 50 days are extraordinarily slim.
Almost as slim as winning the lottery.