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Democratic debate: Andrew Yang announces $120,000 giveaway. Is it legal?

Yang said during the Democratic Debate that 10 families with receive $120,000. Here’s how to enter.

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Democratic presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.

AP

The Democratic debate wasn’t without a twist Thursday night. For example, Andrew Yang said he is giving out a total of $120,000 to 10 families over the next year.

Yang announced Thursday that his team would give out the $120,000 as a part of the pilot program for a universal basic income plan, which he’s touted throughout much of his campaign, according to Politico, which broke the news prior to the debate.

Yang announced the online raffle during his opening statement.

The rules? People will enter online over the next week at Yang’s campaign website.

Money will be given out over the next year at a $1,000 per month rate, which fits with Yang’s plan to distribute a universal basic income to Americans should he become president.

“It’s original, I’ll give you that,” fellow Democratic primary candidate Pete Buttigieg said at the debate.

The plan, called the “Freedom Dividend,” aims to offset automation and help boost the economy, according to the Deseret News.

But Yang’s plan might not be all rosy.

“Handing out money to individuals for their own personal use would seem to be a violation of campaign-finance law,” said Erin Chlopak, director of campaign finance strategy at the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC attorney, according to Time magazine. “It’s hard for me to envision how taking campaign funds and just handing it out to individuals would not violate the personal use prohibition.”