$1 million prize offered for solution to late payment puzzle

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
31 March 2015

A $1 million prize is up for grabs to anyone who can solve the problem of late payment.

The reward is being put up by Norwegian billionaire Olaf Lipor, who wants to find the answer to the conundrum that suppliers want to be paid as soon as possible, while buyers want to hold onto the money as long as they can to boost cash flow.

The entrepreneur, who made his fortune in the pickled herring industry, said: “I came up with the concept for the prize because it appears market forces have not been able to find a solution that suits both parties.”

He added: “As you say in English, a fool and his money are easily parted.”

Lipor’s idea is similar to that of the Clay Mathematics Institute, which offers $1 million to anyone who can find an answer to the seven maths problems it outlined in 2000.

The deadline for the competition, which is hosted by the Foundation of Olaf Lipor (F.O.O.L), is 1 April 2016. Those wishing to enter should email their answer to paymentprize@fool.edu

When asked if he expected the prize to be paid out, Lipor said: “We hope someone finds the answer but can’t guarantee they would get the prize money within 30 days.”

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