Updated 5.13pm with University, KSU reaction

Some University of Malta students left campus with a fistful of euros on Tuesday after a student app company handed out €1,000 for free. 

Instead of handing out the money, FreeHour filled a green balloon with €5 notes and hung it over the new Campus Hub, situated just outside the university's Msida campus.

Hundreds of students crowded the square half an hour before the balloon popped, trying to find the best place to catch falling money. 

The moment the balloon popped. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

The cash giveaway was part of an annual campus frenzy to attract and intrigue new university students, as part of Freshers Week.  

While many organisations offer students bags, free stationery or food, FreeHour went for a cash giveaway. 

"Nothing like this has ever happened before on a Maltese campus, and we are always trying to do something new and different for students," Zach Ciappara, founder and CEO of FreeHour told Times of Malta.

The University of Malta welcomed 4,300 new students on Monday. 

While the balloon filled with air, crowds pressed up against each other and Ciappara could be heard over a microphone continuously asking students to not push and be safe.

One sixth-form student, Theo, was lucky to grab €95.

Theo holds up his €95. Photo: Matthew MirabelliTheo holds up his €95. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

"It just fell in a bunch and I grabbed it," he said full of excitement, as students and his friends surrounded him trying to take a picture of him.

"I don't study here, but I wanted to check it out."

When asked what he will spend his money on, he laughed and said most likely on food.

Despite some students seen falling on the floor, Ciappara said no one was hurt.

Crowds gathered well before the balloon was burst. Photo: Matthew MirabelliCrowds gathered well before the balloon was burst. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

He said the "money drop" was a surprise and was announced earlier on Tuesday morning as a collaboration between FreeHour and Campus Hub - a new development on the edge of campus that includes student accommodation, lecture rooms, cafes and shops. 

"We just want to make the return back to school exciting and we think it's pretty cool so many students come here, together and have fun," he said.

University, KSU dissociate from event

In a joint statement issued later on Tuesday, both the University of Malta and University Students' Council (KSU) said they were concerned by the event, which the University emphasised was not held on its grounds. 

"The activity held this afternoon presented manifest safety issues and exposed UM students to potential physical harm.

This publicity stunt does not align with the values of both UM and KSU," they said. 

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