Would You Rather Be Richer, Thinner, Smarter Or Younger?

Imagine if you will that you are standing before four doorways, each of which could magically improve one facet of your life — wealth, waistline, IQ, youth. You can only go through one doorway; which one do you choose?

That was the question at the heart of a recent AdWeek/Harris Poll that found — perhaps not surprisingly — that the highest percentage (43%) of Americans would choose to be richer over the other options if given the opportunity.

That percentage was more than double the number for the second-place result, thinner. Only 21% of respondents opted to trim their girth. Brains came in a distant third, with 14% choosing to be smarter. That choice edged out younger’s 12%. Bringing up the rear were the remainder of respondents who said they would rather not change any of these.

Of course, we decided to ask Consumerist readers the same question just to see if we get the same result. So please, take a second to vote in the poll and then opine away in the comments.

Richer vs. Thinner vs. Younger vs. Smarter [AdWeek]

Comments

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  1. Segador says:

    Being younger would allow me to become both richer and smarter by making wiser decisions, so….

    • sleze69 says:

      Yep. Youth is wasted on the young.

    • Dragon Tiger says:

      Agreed. There are certain things I would love to have a do-over on that would enable me to gain the other three.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      Indeed – being younger would make all the others obtainable…

    • NotEd says:

      Seconded!

      Err, thirded.

      Maybe fourthed.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Yeah, but you could not pay me enough to re-live my middle and high school years. Hells no.

      • Gtmac says:

        The survey just says younger. It doesn’t say that you’d have to go back in time and relive your adolescence.

        Time is the only thing among the choices that cannot be altered by other means. Presumably, being younger would give you a better shot at more time.

        I’m really shocked at the dominance of ‘richer’.

        • pyramus says:

          Even if you’re magically made younger, you could still get hit by a bus tomorrow. “Younger” doesn’t equal “will live a long and healthy life”.

          Money fixes just about everything. Hire a trainer if you want to lose weight. Get some plastic surgery if you want to look younger. Go back to school and become a permanent student if you want to be smarter. Younger, slenderer, and smarter aren’t necessarily so advantageous if you’re poor.

          Why wouldn’t you pick the money?

      • Mr. Stupid says:

        I’d like to relive my college days. Hell, I’d pay someone who could make that happen.

    • ElBobulo says:

      I like the way you guys think. Same thing here – younger gives you another chance for the other things. Unless you are dumb, so for IQ less than 100, go for the smart option.

      • zandar says:

        I like it as well, but richer has overwhelmingly won the poll. I guess that makes sense, it is the Consumerist after all.

        • Coelacanth says:

          Perhaps the average Consumerist reader has an IQ over 100, and is relatively comfortable with their level of intelligence.

    • Patrick says:

      Agreed.

    • Michael Belisle says:

      But what if you made all the same decisions again, and ended up exactly where you are now?

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        Yeah, when I was young I made a lot of stupid decisions that often resulted in a lot of fun! I wouldn’t change that, even if it meant a more “rewarding” lifestyle now. Besides, I can attribute those decisions to the fact that I was young and appropriately immature. If you went back, you can’t promise those hormones are going to behave themselves and allow your brain to think properly.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        I’d be more afraid of not ending up where I am now. I don’t remember every minor detail of my youth, so I would likely miss out on encountering many of the people who make my life better. I can accept that I made a lot of mistakes if it means that I can continue with my current life.

    • grapedog says:

      ditto

    • sonneillon says:

      But being richer would allow you to look younger and be thinner. And if your smart enough you would be able to be richer which would enable you to be ect.

    • mythago says:

      Being younger isn’t the same thing as going back and time and getting a do-over.

      • DariusC says:

        This… Everyone thinks it means you get a do-over… you just get younger… and young people with old brains = no girls. In fact, its just damn creepy.

        Also, by Segadors logic…

        Being smarter would allow me to become richer and younger because I could invent a fountain of youth to make me young and rich!

        FIAL!

      • Michael Belisle says:

        I think it’s an ill-posed option, and not clear what the outcome of wishing to be younger is. There’s a certain implicit do-over, if you interperet being younger to be back in college but with the maturity you have now. strictly saying it’s younger, but in your current life situation leads to some paradoxes: like what does it mean to be “younger” if you’re 26 with a ten-year-old daughter?

    • Coelacanth says:

      I don’t consider intelligence to be the same thing as wisdom. In my opinion, intelligence is the capacity to take in and integrate new information to solve problems. Wisdom is the result of previous experiences.

      Intelligence may lead to wisdom, but one can be wise and not be very intelligent.

      Likewise, try as somebody might, but I don’t think anyone has much control over what their true “IQ” is… although it may be possible to learn tricks on how to score higher on IQ tests. Likewise, unless one’s suffering from age- or disease-related congnitive deficits, “youth” might not have such a great impact on intelligence, either.

  2. j_rose says:

    Thinner – I’m young, have a great job and financial situation, and consider myself smart enough (although, most people think they’re above average!)

    I guess I should put down this pizza now, huh? :)

    • cvt2010 says:

      Ha! I was thinking almost the exact same thing. Just substitute “cookie” for “pizza”…

    • TheWillow says:

      Bingo.

    • visual77 says:

      My exact thoughts.

    • Etoiles says:

      Ditto. I’m bright enough, I have a good job, I can make more money by applying that brain and a work ethic if I so choose, and I accept that I only get to live once and my impending 30th birthday isn’t a bad thing.

      But thinner? I’m female and spend my life judged by how I look, and no matter what I’ve done in the entirety of my life, I’ve looked chunky. I’d love for that to go away.

  3. Muddie says:

    Financially, I’m exceptional, thinner is easily achievable, I’m fairly young so I’d have to say smarter.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Me too. When you’re rich, you can always lose your money. At least if you’re smart, you can probably make more money :)

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Anyone can lose weight with diet and exercise (or even pills and surgery if you’re that desperate — which money can buy… money can also buy a nutritionist and personal trainer).

      Youth is great, but if you’re healthy & under 40ish (okay, some may say 35, others 45 – this is a bit subjective), that would be a waste of a wish. Even if you are “over the hill”, unless you are retirement age and/or already have a very high IQ, I don’t see this being that beneficial given life expectancy is around 84 yo for women who maintain a healthy lifestyle and 80 yo for men who do the same.

      That leaves IQ and wealth. Wealth can be lost easily. Whereas wealth can come and go, one can use smarts to build up one’s own wealth (assuming you have the wisdom and work ethic to go along with it). Smarts is the obvious answer to me.

      However, if I were say 10+ years older I might go with youth and use my knowledge, combined with the looks and energy of being a very young woman, to get ahead.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Richness buys personal trainers and free time.

    Thinness buys…. thinness.

  5. grucifer says:

    If I were smarter I could make myself richer, no?

    • llryuujinll says:

      yea but you’ll have to work to get richer

    • womynist says:

      Not necessarily…there are plenty of millionaires who are idiots.

    • TheWillow says:

      Nope. In my experience being smarter just makes you more depressed.

    • gerrylum says:

      “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” -Calvin Coolidge

      Although I think Coolidge was mistaken about even persistence. I think nothing can take the place of pure dumb luck.

    • BytheSea says:

      No.

  6. JMILLER says:

    1. Richer- if I have money I can get smarter and thinner, and use surgery to look younger
    2. Younger- but only if I keep what I know now
    3. Smarter- It is always possible to be smarter, and I continue educating myself every day.
    4. Thinner- Luckily this is not an issue for me. Much thinner and I wouldbe accused of having anorexia

    • syzygy says:

      Education may (just may) help unlock any underutilized intelligence you might have, but apart from that, you can’t buy smarts. I’ve met too many over-educated idiots to think anything else.

  7. DeeJayQueue says:

    If I were richer, I could afford things like better food, a trainer etc, so I could get thinner with help.
    I could pay for an education so I could get smarter. I was an idiot when I was younger and I wouldn’t want to be there again.

  8. Mole90 says:

    If I knew at 21 what I know now, I would be the other three. Smarter, richer, thinner I weighed less when I was 21. :)

    How does that song go? If I only knew then what I know now…..

    So I choose younger.

  9. Fujikopez says:

    I’m young, smart (so they tell me, anyway), and thin. Soooo…richer. Not because I LOVELOVELOVE money, but that would benefit me the most.

    • bee8boo8bop8 says:

      Same here. I’m already young (and sick of it; I regularly get mistaken for a high schooler), already thin enough, and already smart enough. I’m lucky, but I’ll be happy to take more money.

  10. jbandsma says:

    Younger…I was thinner then and even if I still was the same size, I had a much more active metabolism.

  11. friendlynerd says:

    Richer, because money can buy most of the other things on that list or at least render them inconsequential.

  12. Retired Again says:

    YOUNGER …. gives me time to get the other Three.

  13. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I’m still pretty young, so going younger wouldn’t accomplish much. I’m well above average IQ, and while I have a good job and financial situation, more is always welcome! I am somewhat overweight, but I could fix that and am slowly working on it (lost about 10 lbs over the last year. 15 to go, I should stop drinking sugary soft drinks, but I won’t).

  14. RioPuerco says:

    Seeing as I am knocked up higher than a kite thinner seems out of the question, but richer would really help out because of the entire giving birth to a giant gorilla situation.

    I also really wish I has some spumoni ice cream from The Old Spaghetti Factory.

  15. Southern says:

    Depends on how MUCH “Richer”.

    Rich enough to retire now? I’ll take it.

    Otherwise I’d pick either thinner or younger.

  16. Phil James says:

    i chose smarter! because if your smarter you can make more money over time!

    • Coelacanth says:

      There does appear to be a “sweet-spot” (I recall hearing about IQs of 120-130) for how smart one is related to their financial wealth. People can definitely be “too smart” and end up exhibiting qualities that make it difficult to lead successful careers.

      • syzygy says:

        So that’s my problem. Cursed by my own vast intelligence. It is truly a burden. ;)

      • TehLlama says:

        That, or people smarter than that realize that wealth alone won’t bring anybody with actually considerable intellect actual happiness, while those with above average intelligence would be most driven to accomplish the greatest material gains.
        Myself and most of my closest wunderkind friends aren’t nearly as drawn to money – while the just above average kids went to prestigious schools and are all now working through law school, or as congressional interns. They’ll likely have higher average salaries, but we can still politely snicker when they insinuate that it’s because they’re smarter.

    • Skyblacker says:

      Or the smarter you can continue slacking off at the same job for the same paycheck, but figure out clever ways to make that money go further.

      For example, having the mental stamina to absorb multiple classes about car repair might increase the life of your current car threefold. That’s three cars you don’t have to buy! Is $50K saved $50K earned?

  17. El_Fez says:

    If I’m stinking rich, I can afford to work out with a personal trainer and eat the best healthy foods. That takes care of the weight. Once you get the weight under control, you’ll feel better and live longer (taking care of the youth aspect kind of). The only thing money wont buy is smarts – but throw enough of it around and who cares if you’re stupid (IE your Paris Hiltons and the ilk)

  18. DanRydell says:

    I’m 28, extremely intelligent and in good physical shape (and continually improving). I’ll take richer.

  19. legolex says:

    I’m still young so I would be richer so I could buy thinner & smarter. Thinner then smarter, in that exact order.

  20. Sparkstalker says:

    I really think that this is one of those questions that relies heavily on the demographic being asked…ask a 22 year old, and I doubt they’d say younger…

    • UssaRars says:

      I am 22 and I chose younger. I am thin, relatively smart, and am financially okay. I just wish I could have youth forever. No one wants to get old, and that includes me. When you are young, it is acceptable to be poor and dumb. It works out perfect.

  21. mh83 says:

    Younger seems like the obvious choice if you’re over 25. You can make more money or do more exercise/dieting, but time is always on the Grim Reaper’s side. Smarts is something you can’t change, but if you have more time, you can likely get whatever education you want. (and use the remaining time to pay off student loans)

    • Coelacanth says:

      25’s setting the bar pretty low…

      • Skyblacker says:

        Well, once you’ve reached physical maturity, all you can do is tread water against aging. At 25, you’re as tall and probably as thin as you’ll ever be. With the exception of some gym fanatics and plastic surgery patients, who looks better now than they did at 25?

  22. diasdiem says:

    I would either be richer or younger, depending on how much younger. I mean, I’m 29, so there’s less benefit there, but I wouldn’t mind being in my 20’s for another ten years. But then, if you’re rich, you don’t have to work and therefore have the time to get thin and smart.

  23. inelegy says:

    I’m smart enough to know I should be smarter, so I’m gonna chose younger.

  24. pantheonoutcast says:

    If I was suddenly 20 years younger, (and able to keep all my assets and knowledge gained), I’d automatically also be the other three choices as well.

  25. caradrake says:

    Being richer would allow me to become smarter (college courses, etc), thinner (personal trainers), and kinda sorta younger (surgery).

  26. Dutchess says:

    I love that photo…It’s a picture of the Getty Museum in Malibu, CA.

  27. OranjeLament says:

    Can we add taller to that list?

    Younger is the only one on that list people can’t control themselves.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Can’t really control intelligence, either. Genius is born, not made. Same goes for stupidity.

  28. Pinkbox says:

    I’m everything but rich, so…

  29. Abradax says:

    Richer.

    Richer lets you buy an education to that handles smarter.
    With money, I could afford a personal trainer, so that handles thinner.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Just because I can afford to get another degree doesn’t mean I’ll actually be able to do the coursework.

      • Jubes says:

        Agreed! Even people who can’t afford to pay for their degrees are still not smart enough to understand their coursework lol, being rich only makes you able to afford to get the degree.

        • hansolo247 says:

          If you’re really smart, you can make it so you don’t have to pay to get a degree.

          Just sayin…

  30. psm321 says:

    The choice depends on the exact details of each of these options. Why would anybody choose “none” though?

    • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

      They’re a malnourished & nerdy zillionaire baby.

    • JMILLER says:

      Bill Gates kids probably don’t need any of the above, they have money, they have the best education, they aren’t that old and likely have a thin physique.

  31. PanCake BuTT says:

    On the subject of ‘Me First & The Gimme Gimmes’, can I pass on those 4 redeeming qualities, and just ask to be reborn when I die, so I can take this from the top ? Just askin’ .

  32. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I’m already smart enough (they gave me a bullshit IQ test in college and I tested at 158). I like the age I am. I have a good job that I like. Now all I need is to lose about (mumble) pounds and I’d not only be gorgeous but probably be in remission for my diabetes. (Working on it, working on it.)

  33. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    Smarter.

    I think I’m pretty smart (and who doesn’t), but I work with a few people who are incredibly brilliant. I’m a software engineer, and it takes smarts to be good at it, but the people I’m talking about are smart enough to understand all the new stuff and how to make it all work together with our current systems, so fast. Me – I’ve got to really read, study, and try it out before I feel comfortable with a lot of it.

  34. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    I like how people believe that money could make you smarter…

    Smarter can lead to riches and good health (Magic Johnson). Younger…. eh. Though, I agree with what someone said: If I could be younger, I could make better decisions towards the other three.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I like how people believe that money could make you smarter.

      Depends on how you define ‘smarter’. I think most people are thinking being smarter means knowing more stuff as opposed to it just bumping up your IQ.

    • JMILLER says:

      Well here is how that works. The time I spend on mindless tasks (work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, auto repair, mowing the lawn etc) could be replaced by learning to do new tasks. It also allows people to travel and learn about new cultures, attend things you maybe could not afford before, take a college class, etc. Being wealthy does not make you smarter. It allows you to do things to make yourself smarter.
      It is like the old saying that money can’t buy happiness. I take the flip side, being poor can make you very unhappy. Try not eating, or having a home for a month and tell me how “happy” most people are.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        I agree that money can buy access, but access doesn’t guarantee results. You can be as dumb as a brick and have more money than you know what to do with.

        • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

          “Guaranteed results” is the key phrase there. There are people that can travel the world, experience new things, and not learn anything from it. As a matter of fact, you should be learning something new every day, and it doesn’t have to be learning how to pay polo or fly a jet.

          By that logic, all million(plus)aires should be smart as hell (even if they stole or inherited it) and all geniuses (even in history) should have been stinkin’ rich.

  35. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Somehow, the door I opened had a lion behind it. :(

  36. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    It’s no surprise smarter only came in at 14%; most people think they’re already smart.

    If smarter means getting a bunch of knowledge in addition to cleverness, as opposed to just becoming better at learning, that would be very tempting.

    Younger…I’d have to go pretty far back to make the different decisions to get what I want out of the others. Even if I get to keep all the knowledge I have now, I don’t know if it’d be worth it to have to go through middle and high school again. UGH! Thinking about it is actually kind of depressing.

    Would I be richer because I just get a bunch of money or because I’d have a better paying job? Either way I don’t see a downside to that choice.

    I’m not seeing a downside to thinner either.

  37. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Smarter, from there I can improve upon the richer part on my own.

  38. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    Smart enough to realize the other 3 != happiness

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Well, not directly but they could contribute to it.

      If your weight is an issue then being thin would at least improve your health.
      If money is an issue then having more wealth could eliminate the stress of having to struggle financially.

      And people have already made the “younger to make better choices” argument. However, if the younger choice didn’t have the time travel aspect to it then that would kind of suck.

  39. crb042 says:

    Youth.

    Richness can be earned.
    Weight can be modified.
    Learning opportunities are everywhere.

    Age is the one thing on that list I could not get elsewhere.

  40. ElBobulo says:

    Actually, I would think that suddenly becoming much more intelligent would do serious strange things to your emotional state(s).

  41. GuidedByLemons says:

    Very, very tough choice for me between Richer and Younger.

    I’d love to be rich enough to retire early. As a work-a-day professional with no special ambitions to do anything huge I have little hope of that.

    Ultimately though I chose Younger, for one reason: I recently came into a love of cycling at the age of 27. I think if I’d started young and worked at it for a decade or more I could have been a competitive racer at this point in my life. As it is, I’ll need several years to fully develop myself (and without the benefit of, say, a university cycling team and the copious free time that comes with being a college student), and at age 30 or 32 or whatever I’ll be on the wrong side of the aging curve.

  42. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    Why would anyone not choose youngness? Youth is the only thing on the list that you can’t get otherwise.

    Intelligence, maybe– but most people, given enough time, could overcome an intelligence gap.

    Always choose more time. It’s the only thing we can’t get more of in life.

  43. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    I’m still relatively young I guess (late thirties), but as Kansas famously sang about time, “…all your money won’t another minute buy.”

    I still weigh the same as I did in high school (thin to average for my height) and my IQ is well above average. Being richer would be nice, but being 10 to 15 years younger would allow me to date younger without feeling like a creep. ;-D

    And of course, it would allow me to continue my education and hopefully get rich slowly.

    So if I could I’d choose to be younger. But with my luck, six months after choosing the ‘younger’ door the damn world would end. ;-Z

  44. SpendorTheCheap says:

    Fatter

  45. evnmorlo says:

    Richer. Unless we are talking about exceptional inventive genius, in which case I’d take that and transfer my mind to an army cyborg supermodels and conquer the universe. But realistically beauty, youth, and intelligence are usually stifled by a lack of cash.

  46. silver-spork says:

    I’d probably go with thinner. I do fairly well financially, am OK with my age (34) and am already smart enough for my own good.

    I wouldn’t want to become a bobblehead, so I’d only want to lose 10%-15% of my weight.

  47. fordprefect says:

    Yes, please.

  48. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Smarter. Then everything else should fall into place.
    I guess, except for “younger”. But I’m fine with being 30 (and acting 12 half the time)

  49. kayl says:

    Most of these comments read like a personal ad:

    Choose 3 of 4 and write your own!
    I’m already A) Rich B) Thin/In shape C) Young D) Smart, so I’d choose A, B, C, or D

    Personally – I’d go with richer – I may not be in the best shape, but it’s a lot easier to go to the gym than to suddenly have lots of money :)

  50. mbgrabbe says:

    Yikes, I’m tempted to say none of these. Hardwork can make you thin and rich, and you really shouldn’t take any shortcuts on way to either of those qualities or else you won’t know how to maintain them. Being smarter would be nice, but as history shows us, most geniuses led unhappy lives of solitude and had few, if any, companions to relate to. That doesn’t sound very fun. And being younger, I’m not sure what to think about that. Im still in my mid-20’s, but being younger, no thanks – not yet at least :-).

  51. photoguy622 says:

    I’d rather just be more content with what I have now, while also realizing that continued improvement in my life would make me happier…

    Hmm, I guess I just don’t want something handed to me. I’d rather work, over time, at being richer, smarter, and buffer (too thin now). Aging is what it is, and makes me who I am today, nothing wrong with getting older.

  52. NumberSix says:

    Younger.

    Time is the only real thing of value.

  53. Clyde Barrow says:

    Good health is actually my first choice. Without good health, the rest does not matter.

    But my second is being richer. What I’ve learned and how I’ve gotten to my career is invaluable but I wouldn’t want to do it again. It was hard. I’m already thin so that one is out.

  54. photoguy622 says:

    Reading some of these comments I think some people should ask for more modesty.

  55. TheGreySpectre says:

    I’m young enough and in decent shape, I make more then a good number of people my age and I consider myself reasonably intelligent. That being said, I think being smarter has a reasonable chance of leading to larger finical success.

  56. FilthyHarry says:

    I chose younger because I’m smart enough, and the others I could acheive without wishing. Being young just kinda buys you more time.

  57. esp13 has a pony named Steve says:

    Being thinner may only be just that. It won’t neccesarily make you more attractive, especially with a butterface or bad attitude.

    Being smarter, can help make you richer, but it will take time.

    Being younger, if it’s the implied do-over, can allow for better choices, but again results take time.

    Being richer will net an immediate effect that can then make it easier to get thinner, look younger and become smarter. Of course there are limits to how far your body and brain can go, but you can never get too rich. I’ll take richer, even if it’s just enough to buy a home and pay off my debts.

  58. dolemite says:

    Younger…everything else you can change on your own, starting today if you want.

  59. Scuba Steve says:

    Smarter. I value brains waaaay more than I value wealth. A rich man can buy whatever he wants, but a smart man can build it and have people think highly of him.

  60. milty456 says:

    Yeah so…”mo money mo problems”…Richer doesn’t automatically mean your problems are all gone. There’s plenty of people who have money that have breakdowns because they can’t keep their leeching families off of their backs, etc etc.
    I say thinner…it helps me solve a problem that is hard to control. It doesn’t add extra problems a la the “richer” option of more stress from everyone who is now your “friend”. Money doesn’t solve everything and it is truly the root of all evil…a la big corporate america….if you said richer, perhaps you should have picked smarter…because you need it.

    • RxDude says:

      “thinner…it helps me solve a problem that is hard to control”

      It takes discipline and work to stay thin, too, not just to get there. Especially when you like food as much as I do :~)

    • Extractor says:

      Good friend of mine keeps his net worth below $1 Billion just so he wont become to well known. Keeps donating it.

  61. rdclark says:

    Younger would let me avoid my original mistakes. Also I would be, you know, younger.

  62. jeff_the_snake says:

    i just want more hair, I started going bald at 17 so the younger option won’t even help me.

  63. MPHinPgh says:

    As long as I’m allowed to pass it along to my daughters, I’d rather be richer.

    “Better Hung” wasn’t an option, unfortunately ;-D

  64. jeff_the_snake says:

    i just want more hair, I started going bald at 17 so the younger option won’t even help me.

  65. Bodger says:

    Lame question. How much richer? How much thinner? How much younger? How much smarter? You will be made $14.23 richer? Lose 1 pound? Two days younger? Gain three IQ points?

    If I get to set the parameters, I’ll take mega wealth, y’know, enough to make Warren Buffett + Bill Gates + Carlos Slim Helú rolled into one look like a pauper. Thinner I can do on my own — all that takes is a bit more self-control. Younger on its own isn’t worth much — I didn’t do such a wonderful job on the first go-round and I couldn’t guarantee doing better with a second try. Smarter might be worth something but there are a lot of smart people who are poor, fat, and old and unhappy along with it all. No, give me the money, and don’t hold back.

  66. backinpgh says:

    Being rich can buy you all those things.

    • Pax says:

      No. Being rich cn’t make you younger; it can only make you LOOK younger.

      You’d stil have the same tired, old, worn-out innards though.

  67. Forrest says:

    Regardless of the fact that I am poor, fat, young, and a borderline genius, I would say smarter. Though I guess it really depends on how much of an increase we are talking about here. Lets say a rule of 20’s. If I had 20 years off my age, I would be a baby. If I posessed my memories and intelligence levels I have now, I would consider this, if just to screw with people lol. 20% off my body weight would be nice, but I would probably just gain it back, so that is a no go. 20k seems too little, 20 million seems too much… though I am sure people out there would pay 20 million to have 20 years off of their age… Though the thought of being rich seems fantastic to me. I would invest the money wisely and live off of the interest, I think that there is so much more I could do with a 20 point jump in my IQ. I am already very superior/near genius (not bragging, that’s just how I measure), so a 20 point jump would put me squarely in the genius category. Maybe with my increase in intelligence I could get a better job or invent something to make me money or hell, even age slower. I might be able to convince myself to shed my extra weight. I guess I would have to choose intelligence, so long as it didn’t result in me alienating my friends or loved ones (as some geniuses are known to do).

  68. Span_Wolf says:

    IQ tests already put me in the top 5% so I don’t think I need to be any smarter lest I become a Hawkingesque freak. So I’d go with money, because it can make me thinner, make me look younger, and hiring trainers could make me stay healthier later into life extending my quality of life.

    Though if the younger thing was like a do-over which I doubt, I’d absolutely go for that. It completely depends on how far back though.

  69. trephined says:

    This is an unfair vote for me, i really only have one option and that is richer. I’m plenty thin, young enough at 25, and smarter than most people i interact with anyway

  70. DrunkenMessiah says:

    Richer. Duh.

    I’m already athletically lean, smarter than the average bear and 22 years old. Richer is the only one that makes any sense.

  71. Consumeristing says:

    Being smarter at this point would just make suicidal. Richer, by far. I want to experience what the world has to offer, especially travelling. Not just touristy stuff, but actually living 3 years at a time in cool places. I can’t do that with more brains.

  72. SlayerGhede says:

    I’m already pretty smart. If I were smarter, without trading anything away… hooooboy. That would be useful. I’d go into supervilliany or something.

    • RxDude says:

      Being smart past a certain level is just depressing, because you realize you are surrounded by rampant stupidity.

  73. MaxPower says:

    I’m pretty young (24) and I’m thin. I think I’m pretty smart (went to a good college, good at problem solving, etc.).

    But.. I would love to pay off my car loan, buy a house, travel, have nicer clothes…. and those things cost money.

    Richer seems like an easy choice.

  74. LMacConn says:

    Healthier would have been my first choice, but since that’s not available, I opted for Richer.

  75. awesome anna says:

    See.. I would be smarter, because than I can become richer. I get 2 instead of 1. If I’m still dumb, but rich, well… I’ll most likely blow all that cash anyway!

  76. Donathius says:

    Richer – then I could pay to be thinner, and go get my Master’s degree. I don’t need to look younger yet, I just turned 29.

  77. Dave on bass says:

    Younger while retaining my current knowledge? yespls. I’d counter all the things that made me un-thiner and un-richer.

  78. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I voted richer. I can lose weight, getting younger won’t help me because I’ll still have bills/be pudgy, I’m pretty smart already and I couldn’t think of anything else.

  79. Jevia says:

    Younger. Means I’m closer in age to my husband and kids (I had kids late). I’ll have more time to become richer and lose weight. I’m happy with my IQ, thanks.

  80. wheeitsme says:

    …how MUCH younger? Back to 22? That would be worth it. Otherwise, the richer can get me the other things…

  81. Pax says:

    I’ll take youth.

    I already have a decent IQ, and being younger would give me the TIME to get both thinner, and richer. :)

  82. Spifferiferfied says:

    Thinner without a doubt. I make decent money, I’m average/above average intelligence wise and I’m only 27. But man, if I could just be thinner… Here’s to working out!

  83. operator207 says:

    Richer. It can be used to buy the other stuff. Though I am just fine where I am. Ok, maybe make a little more money.

  84. TabrisLee says:

    If you’re smarter, you’ll be smart enough to find a great way to get you rich. When you’re rich, you can while away your time getting into shape, so that takes care of the thinner part.

    Younger ain’t somethin’ you can change. Everybody gets old, so you might as well enjoy the ride.

  85. dkoemans says:

    I definitely don’t want to be smarter. I’m already too sad about how dumb everyone else seems to be.

  86. teke367 says:

    I guess it depends on how rich, or how smart, etc. If richer meant a 10% raise, then I’d pass. If its unlimited, I’d go with smarter, because if you basically a genius you can figure out a way to get rich and thin. Heck, if its unlimited smartness (yes, I’m aware of how dumb “unlimited smartness” sounds) you might be able to develop something to keep you young.

    But, I read it as just “really rich” or “really smart” etc. In that case, I’d take the money. Well above average financially gets you most of the benefits of being rich, but just well above average intelligent doesn’t, IMO.

  87. Skyblacker says:

    I’m thinner than my friends. I’m still this side of 30. Lack of money has never prevented me from doing anything I really wanted to do.

    So I guess I’ll go with increasing IQ.

    Or cats. Can I increase the amounts of cats that my husband will let me keep? That would be nice.

  88. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    If I was independantly wealthy, I could buy thinness if I wanted it (say, a liposuction). And, since I didn’t have to work, I could spend all day learning about whatever I wanted to know – like, go back to school and get that philosopy degree.

    As for younger…that might be cool, and the implicit mulligan would be certainly quite advantageous…but then again somehow I get the feeling that fate would screw me over somehow…like sticking me in some new war since I got drafted at 18 and got my [winkie] blown off, and then spending the next 60 or 70 years with no [winkie] and therefore no [rogering].

  89. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Sorry, can’t vote. I don’t see an “All of the above” radio button.

  90. hansolo247 says:

    Of all of these, I have no wishes either way.

    I’m 34, which isn’t really old…

    I’m smart already…which is depressing in a way as there are relatively few people that interest me, but I can have fun nonetheless…

    I have plenty of money. Not rich, but a six figure net value and upward mobility from there…

    I’m about 15 pounds over where I should be. I can change that in 2 months…

    Now, one thing not on the list is all I really want…healthier. I’ve had significant problems with that, to the point I’ve had to have parts replaced from others who are not so lucky. This in itself has made me miss a large part of my life during which I should have had more fun. As of now, I don’t have anyone to share my life with, and given my condition I don’t think there are any takers who will move in once their eyes are open. Daily chronic pain has driven me to spend most free time in isolation…

    No, this isn’t a pity party. Most who have been what I’ve been through are not here anymore. I’m still blessed, but wish people would sometimes remember what it is they do have before they go wishing for something better.

  91. RxDude says:

    What is the epitaph on Karen Carpenter’s tombstone?

    “You can still never be too rich.”

  92. VeganPixels says:

    Younger. When I *was* younger, I was already richer and thinner than I am now. 3-for-1 deal!

    Haven’t made many stupid mistakes in life between then and now that would require a do-over so smarter is out of the running.

    But if the choice was only between rich or famous, I’d take rich every time because rich can buy smarter, thinner, younger, and famous

  93. human_shield says:

    Smarter. Then the rest will follow!

  94. RedCricketChase says:

    On a site about saving $$$, having more $$$ is winning? Huh.

  95. Carlee says:

    I’d want to be richer. Because if I was, I could hire a trainer and join a gym (ugh, exercise) and maybe be thinner. Or not, it’s not that important to me.

    I don’t think I’m a genius – I’m smart enough for my job – but I don’t think I’d want to be a rocket scientist or anything. So I don’t need to be smarter because what’s the point in that? Impressing people at parties? (Highly unlikely – everyone will think I’m just being a smart alec, which people tend to think already anyway).

    I’m surprised that “thinner” wasn’t the above “smarter” in the polling, though. Aren’t a lot of people trying to lose those “last 5 pounds”? Or do they figure that if they wouldn’t waste their wish on something as small as that?

  96. Gladeye says:

    Younger, all the way. The other three things are conceivably attainable, but not making yourself younger. And besides, what’s more valuable to you than your life? Go back with the wisdom, knowledge and experience you’ve acquired and you can avoid becoming fat, poor, and stupid.

  97. TehLlama says:

    Smarter… being smarter improves chances of making more money, which can buy liposuction. None of the others offer the allure of being less dumb.

  98. P_Smith says:

    People voted for richer? Why? 9_9

    If I were younger – provided I know what I know now – I could lose weight and keep it off, I could make more use of a second education, and earn more money.

    Think of it like a traffic accident: I’d rather not be injured and not get any compensation than spend a year in traction with a million dollar settlement.

    Money doesn’t buy time or health, it only means you can afford things.

  99. TriplerSDMB says:

    Younger; all the rest I can influence myself.

  100. magnetic says:

    Going back about three years in time would make me almost all of these things. There’s just one specific event I’d like to avoid.

  101. arcoiris says:

    I am dumb, fat, stupid and poor. I believe I need all five doors to combine into one. Wait..is it four doors…

  102. DallasM says:

    I have a masters degree, weigh 140 lbs, and am 27 years old. So… richer it is I guess.

  103. fokensheatman says:

    I love how so many people say they would rather be richer because then they can buy a trainer to be thinner, get surgery to look younger and then there is buying an education.

    Seriously? If you were lazy enough to get fat and allowed yourself to become lazy and fat then what makes you think buying an education is going to help?

    You might as well as opt for the smartness. This way you can be smart enough to make sufficient money, learn how to keep your body and health in great shape, and with your intelligence you will not be worried about your looks to others because you will be smart enough not to care. Or know how to look young without plastic surgery.

  104. BytheSea says:

    Money I can make, I’d never want to be 21 again, I’m already smarter than average and it doesn’t make me happy. Since there isn’t an option for taller or cured, thinner is something I can’t seem to achieve on my own. So.

  105. TTFK says:

    I have fought with my weight all my life, gaining it even as a child despite year-round swim team to go with basketball, baseball and soccer youth leagues AND biking 7 miles a day after school to my parent’s businesses to work in the evening.

  106. roothorick says:

    Richer. I’m already young, and with strong finances, I won’t need the rest.

  107. muaddib says:

    not younger but able to go back to when i was younger, id kick my own ass over some of the things i did.

  108. BigSchem says:

    I’d choose smarter. Every comment I’ve read deals with the choice affecting just themselves in an immediate fashion.

    I’d rather be smarter so that, yes, I could become richer…but also enhance the social life. I would know/understand more things so that I may be more open/social to clients, customers, friends, etc. My network would so much more diverse. That, to me, is what’s most valuable.

  109. smo0 says:

    Richer… hands down.

  110. Dyrenia says:

    Richer, easily. I can buy my way thinner with lypo, i can pay to go to college to get smarter, can’t make myself younger but i can afford things thatll help me feel/look younger.

  111. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    I love how most of the commenters are all, “Well, I’m way smarter than average, so…”

    I didn’t know the Consumerist was headquarted at Lake Woebegone.

  112. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Richer can get me thinner (and maybe even a little sumthin sumthin with the trainer), smarter (well at least more higher education and mind-expanding travel), and plastic surgery or whatever to look younger.

  113. Extractor says:

    My wish is to have tomorrows newspaper today. Stocks, Sports scores, horse races, and lotteries. Imagine what you could do with just 1 paper.

  114. lewayotte says:

    If I were smarter, I could become richer – I can become thinner by working out and eating right and I don’t care about being younger.

  115. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I say richer because I would be able to get out of this cubicle and do the things I love (rock hound, fish, camp), which would make me thinner and look younger. I would also be able to read more and perhaps return to school, which, while not increasing my IQ, would increase my knowledge.

  116. finbar says:

    Too bad “keeping a full head of hair” isn’t on the list… Of all the things that have come and gone, I miss my hair the most.