Alex Tew, you’re a clever bastard! But can you pull it off twice?

Screenshot of PixelLotto website

Is making money out of nothing an act of genius, a scam, or both? Or is it just a lucky fluke?

Consider Alex Tew. He made himself a millionaire with the Million Dollar Homepage — selling the pixels in a 1000 x 1000 grid to advertisers for $1 each. Advertisers loved it, according to _The Cottage Economist_, because of its ability to generate website traffic for a cheap, one time payment.

People who tried to copy the idea failed — because, of course, it wasn’t news any more. No media frenzy meant no traffic spike.

But now Mr Tew is back with a twist: Pixellotto.

This time the pixels cost $2 each. Half of that goes to Tew. But the other half goes into a prize pool. Once all the pixels are sold, that million dollars goes to a random person who clicked on one of the adverts. In theory this should be even more attractive to advertisers because there’s a real incentive to click on those adverts.

But will it work?

So far 15% of the pixels have been sold. But it doesn’t look like the media frenzy is happening. _The Cottage Economist_ reports that while Pixellotto did hit the top 1000 sites on the Internet, currently it’s down to number 32,193 — more than ten thousand spots lower than the now-inert Million Dollar Homepage.