Moldovan businessman and multi-millionaire Dmitry Kaminskiy is passionate about longevity – so much so that he’s offering a prize of $1 million to the first person to reach the age of 123 years. He himself dreams of living forever and hopes that his generous gift will trigger a new generation of ‘supercentenarians’ (people over 110 years of age).
“We live in the most exciting era of human development when technologies become exponential and transformative,” said Kaminskiy, a senior partner of Hong Kong-based firm Deep Knowledge Ventures. “They may not realise it, but some of the supercentenarians alive today may see the dawn of the next century if they live long enough for these transformative technologies to develop.”
“I hope that my prize will help some of them desire longer lifespans and make their approaches to living longer a little more competitive,” he added.
Kaminskiy isn’t the first person to display interest in increased life expectancy. According to a Daily Mail report, ‘Longevity Science’ is actually an area of interest for many anti-aging companies such as Google’s Calico and genome sequencing startup Human Longevity Inc. Billionaires like Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Dmitry Itskov, and Peter Thiel are actively funding research in the field.
“I’d say we have a 50/50 chance of bringing aging under what I’d call a decisive level of medical control within the next 25 years or so,” said gerontologist Dr. Aubrey de Grey, chief scientist at SENS Research Foundation and Anti-Aging Advisor to the US Transhumanist Party.
The level of research and study going into longevity science makes Kaminskiy hopeful that people living to 150 years will soon become the norm. While studies in stopping and reversing aging in mice have already displayed signs of success, people all over the world are generally living longer in recent years. In fact, in 2014, average life expectancy hit an all-time high of 79 years in the United States.
We’re not sure if Kaminskiy’s prize money will actually inspire people to live longer, but there are quite a few supercentenarians who might just end up winning. The oldest verifiable ones alive now are both Americans – Jeralean Talley, at 115 years, and Susannah Mushatt Jones, also at 115 years. Talley happens to be older by 44 days.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Kaminskiy has tied up monetary gain with longevity. He was in the news this January for making a bet with Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of anti-aging company Insilico Medicine Inc, over who would live beyond 100. The bet is for a million dollars dollars in stock.
“Longevity competitions may be a great way to combat both psychological and biological aging,” Dr. Zhavoronkov had said. “I hope that we will start a trend.”