Harold Camping and his 'end of the world' 2011 prediction have captured the public's attention.
Only a handful of people believe it. Some think it could be true. The vast majority of people are here for the show.
A good show starts with a conflict, escalates the tension, and culminates in a grand resolution.
Camping's public May 21 Doomsday campaign set the stage for the conflict. With each utterance of the certainty of his prediction, he has escalated the tension.
Starting at 6 p.m. New Zealand time, May 21, the conflict will be conclusively resolved.
The public is salivating for this defining moment when the crushing reality will definitively prove Camping wrong. For some, the slight possibility that Camping is right just makes it better.
People also look forward to feeling outraged at Camping's inevitable excuse come May 22 - he'll either claim a mistake in calculation or that the world has ended in an invisible way.
When he does, many will relish the opportunity to pour out their scorn and ridicule for this failed prophet who refuses to admit he's hopelessly wrong.
Of course, it's not all fun and games for everyone.
A source told CNN that some of his followers blew all their money on luxury cars and vacations. PIX11 reported that one man spent all of his savings to buy an ad campaign for the May 21 Doomsday message. One teenager even said his parents stopped saving for his college education, reported New York Times.
Another victim is Christianity.
Mainstream doctrine does teach about the end times. The New Testament also urges believers to wait expectantly for it. However, the New Testament clearly states that it's impossible to know the exact timing. Unfortunately, come May 22, mainstream Christianity will likely bear some unfair backlash for Camping's failed prediction.