The 4 Most Creative Ways People Used Loopholes to Get Rich

As we've previously discussed, there are people out there who exploit legal loopholes in ways so blatant and hilarious that they seem like scripted headlines from The Onion.

#4. Selling Illegal Light Bulbs as Heaters

In Europe, it is illegal to sell any light bulb over 60 watts, effectively placing a continent-wide ban on bright light (getting wet and eating after midnight are presumably also forbidden).

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Stubbing-related fatalities have soared.

A German entrepreneur named Siegfried Rotthaeuser, keen to cash in on the light bulb demand, decided that since 75- and 100-watt bulbs output 95 percent heat and only 5 percent actual light, they could technically be imported and distributed as heaters. This is the same thing as selling a Toyota Camry as four chairs or a Magic Mike DVD as a feminine wipe.

Incredibly, his idea worked, and Rotthaeuser's disturbingly named yet perfectly legal "heatballs" have sold by the thousands.


The sweaty, sweaty thousands.

#3. Opening a Strip Club as an Art Show

Naked boobs are illegal in Idaho, which is one of the main reasons that almost no movies take place there. However, riding what can only be described as a wave of unshakeable optimism, the proprietor of the Erotic City Strip Club in Boise took a closer look at the law and noticed that public nudity could be permitted, provided it had serious artistic merit.

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Serious as priapism.

Presumably after a few false starts (such as projecting Citizen Kane onto a plus-size stripper named Busty Lusty or having all the girls perform to Sufjan Stevens songs), he began handing out sketch pads to customers as they walked in and calling the club's performances "art classes" instead of "boner-flexing tit parades." Since the patrons were all holding drawing tablets and seated around what could vaguely be considered a nude model (in pretty much the same way Jimmie Johnson can be considered an athlete), the state totally allowed it.

#2. Trading Pachinko Balls for Money

Gambling is illegal in Japan, which is strange considering that most of the Japanese people we see in photos on the Internet have clearly lost some kind of bet.

Kazuhiro Nogi / Getty

However, some enterprising criminals have found a way to circumvent the law with pachinko parlors. Pachinko is like a cross between a slot machine and a pinball game -- if you win, it spits out a torrent of small steel balls instead of currency (steel balls will eventually become currency once the Earth is conquered by robots, but for now they don't count). Since the pachinko machines don't actually reward players with money, it isn't considered gambling -- sort of like how a skee ball machine spits out heroin-stained tickets instead of dollar bills.

Michel Porro / Getty
In Japanese, the word "pachinko" means "monetized epilepsy."

Like skee ball tickets, you can trade pachinko balls in for a prize ... and then immediately take the prize to an unmarked store (usually owned by the same people as the pachinko parlor) to exchange the prize for money. We assume it won't be long before the Yakuza start positioning themselves outside of the unmarked stores to swap players their recently traded cash for stab wounds.

#1. Registering Personal Vehicles as Taxis

London has some of the most heavily congested roads in the world, presumably because they are full of cheeky hoods driving to and from diamond heists. To reduce some of the congestion, the government charges a driving fee of 10 pounds ($15) per day. The only people exempt from the charge are taxi drivers, and getting a taxi license is significantly cheaper than paying the road fee every day of the year.

Dan Kitwood / Getty
Because anyone who fights with London traffic for a living deserves the odd break.

As you may have guessed, some shrewd Londoners have begun registering their vehicles as taxis with no intention of ever picking up any passengers they aren't paying for sex. It's completely legal, despite the fact that many of the registered cars are sport coupes, limiting the maximum number of possible fares to one, unless they start tossing people in the trunk like the Bone Collector.



Karl is not James Bond, but he does have a Twitter where he says suave things. He also writes for Gunaxin, a site about manly things.

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