The problem with this as gamification is that there is zero ability to play for less than the current high-score. That is a real problem: suppose 500 people were wiling to pay close to, but not over, \$10, but hardly anyone was willing to pay over \$10. If 15 people have paid \$10 it now prices anyone wanting to pay up to \$10 completely out of visibility. Since we said there were 500 such people, you lose \$5,000 while making 15 * 10 = \$150. That's a real design problem. Pay-to-play should give everyone something.

 Interesting perspective. Right now you can still get 'value' out of it by paying less than the #1 spot, since the first few spots are still highly visible too. That said, your logical reasoning still applies. I'm not sure what a better solution would be though. A leaderboard works because it's exclusive.
 You could lower the current score by one cent every x seconds
 that's a really cool idea.
 The idea of a permanent score is what inspired me to pay, though. A steadily declining score doomed to fail wouldn't have felt nearly as cool.

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