Once you saw the field was going to be so much bigger, was it discussed to increase the purse to reward more than 5 or 10% of the applicants? I realize it's quite large already but still only rewards the first place team for each goal correct?

It wasn't really discussed--I think the $30 million cumulative prize purses is already about as small as it can be to still be an effective carrot at the end of the stick to motivate all of those teams. We do expect that in this prize, like almost every other incentive prize in history, most teams will be willing to spend more than the prize value in their efforts to win the prize, but there is a limit to how high they'll go--and historical data suggests probably somewhere between ~2 and ~4 times the amount they could claim.

That said, we did do something relatively new with this competition by offering both the Grand Prize and the Second Place prize and a variety of bonuses. We've also tried to massage the Bonus Prize program to make that as effective an incentive as possible. By offering those bonuses "a la carte", if you will, I think we've turned that money into a much better carrot--maybe the equivalent of a $12 or $15 million carrot, instead of just $5 million.

Ask me about the X PRIZE Foundation's space activities, including the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

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