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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Man hands out cash in New York

By Sima Kotecha
Newsbeat US reporter

Couple with a $50 note
'Bailout Bill' is giving out amounts ranging from $50 to $5,000

Imagine getting 35 for doing absolutely nothing. Well in New York, a man is giving away stacks of cash to anyone who's prepared to stand in line for it.

The mystery man, who calls himself 'Bailout Bill', says in the middle of an economic crisis ordinary Americans who are struggling to make ends meet deserve a bailout.

In order to get the money people have to go the 'Bailout Booth' in the heart of Manhattan's Times Square.

It's a small cubicle, a couple of blocks away from the massive Virgin Megastore.

The minimum anyone can get is $50 (35). The maximum is $5,000 (3,513).

No matter who you are or what you do Bailout Bill guarantees that you'll get something if you just show up and tell your story.

Hundreds have already braved the freezing temperatures to get their free dosh. Some have stood in line for hours before getting to the front.

Gerrard Rinemoof, 34, was covered in snow before he got his cash.

He told Newsbeat it was worth it: "Our cat is sick and we had to take him to the vet, so the 50 bucks helps me pay the bill."

Queue for 'Bailout Bill'
Hundreds queued in the cold in New York's famous Times Square
But perhaps there is something Bailout Bill would like in exchange - even though he doesn't necessarily spell it out.

His staff hold up banners which have the address of his website printed on them.

They encourage the public to go online and check it out. It's an advertising site where people can post their videos and adverts in order to sell items they no longer want.

So maybe Bailout Bill is giving away thousands to promote his business?

Many here don't seem to care. Rodriguez, who's 24, said the entrepreneur had a big heart.

"Basically I just need to pay my bills and save money, and this money helps me do that. With my $50 I'm going to grab a McDonald's now."

The Bailout Booth doesn't end here in New York. In the coming weeks, it'll make stops in Washington DC, Boston, and Philadelphia.

One homeless woman, who didn't want to give her name, said: "I have no jacket, nowhere to live, and I'm sick. God bless this day."



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