Would You Move to Pittsburgh for $100,000?

A contest aims to lure older people to the city who dream of relocating

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Jim Young / Reuters

If you’re over 45 and could use $100,000, the city of Pittsburgh has a proposition. Local leaders have launched an essay competition aimed at attracting people over 45 to the city. The Experienced Dreamers Contest calls on older adults to apply for the prize by telling the city what dream they’d like to accomplish by moving to the city. The contest runs through mid-December with winner to be chosen next spring.

In their essays, contestants are asked to “think about your dream – whatever it is you believe you were born to do” and asks “if you have the courage to pick up your life, move to Pittsburgh and make it real.”

From starting a new business to finding a place to retire, the contest’s organizers are hoping to snatch up the upper-middle aged and baby boomers who may be thinking about a change. The contest is limited to people 45 and older who haven’t lived within 100 miles of the city for at least the past 10 years.

What’s the catch? As a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains, older folks mean money:

Buhl Foundation President Frederick Thieman said the organization took part in developing the initiative because of a 2009 report by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation that found the region could see an economic impact of more than $2.5 billion by attracting 1,250 new residents 45 and older in the next 20 years.

Five finalists will be chosen and the public will be allowed to vote to determine which “experienced dreamer” has a dream worthy of Pittsburgh. Half of the $100,000 prize will be awarded in cash, the rest in the form of a charitable family trust.

And to make sure your dream doesn’t overshadow the fact that you’re actually a deadbeat, the contest requires entrants to provide their social security numbers for a “background check.”

Officials are hoping the $100,000 investment will encourage older people thinking about making a move to consider Pittsburgh. It could be a dream come true.

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.