Surprise: Experiment Finds D.C. Least Honest City in the Nation

by Lindsey Grudnicki

Believe it or not, Washington, D.C., seems to be the least honest place in America.

Earlier this month, the New York–based company Honest Tea placed unmanned kiosks in 61 locations across the U.S., asking that patrons pay $1 if they helped themselves to a beverage. The company released its results last week, ranking all 50 states and our nation’s capital.

The District came in last place in the honesty test, with only 80 percent of people paying for their drinks. (And as if stealing tea wasn’t enough, Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman had his bicycle stolen while the company was running its experiment in D.C.)

Only Alabama and Hawaii received perfect scores, with 100 percent of participants abiding by the honor system. The national average, according to the study, was 92 percent, which Goldman called “reassuring.”

The company also evaluated honesty trends based on sex and other characteristics: Women, blonds, long-haired people, and people in groups were found to be the most honest types.

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