I was amused when my mom (AKA Mommy) told me about a scam during World War II. Someone placed a newspaper ad with this message:
“Last two days to send in your dollar.”
Who would fall for that? Apparently many thousands did just, making that scammer quite wealthy. Competing Urban legends have it that he got away with it and that he was arrested for not delivering on an “implied promise.”
It sure makes a good story.
No one could fall for something like that today, right? We are too sophisticated now.
If you believe that, I have plenty of bridges to sell you — not to mention the tens of millions of dollars that will go to you once you send me your banking information via email.
And yet, I sent in my Publisher’s Clearinghouse entry this summer. I had written a blog post after hearing about a new prize – $5,000 a week for life for the winner, who then can transfer to one person to receive $5,000 a week for life after the winner kicks the bucket. My blog post was about “taking offers” from my kids for who would get the money. The post was meant to be amusing.
Publisher’s Clearinghouse discovered it and emailed me asking if they could write a blog post about what I wrote. I agreed. After all, any publicity is good publicity, right?
I entered, knowing how silly it was and that I was not likely to get rich quick. And I didn’t. Sorry, kids. But we can dispense with sibling rivalry now.
I also wasn’t picked to go to the Democratic convention despite entering that contest by making a contribution to President Obama’s campaign. (I would have made it anyway.)
This losing thing goes back a long way. Long before there were legal lotteries in this country, my mom used to enter the “Irish Sweepstakes” when her friend, Hazel, bought tickets for her. It was always unclear how she got them but in the jargon of the time, it was all “hush-hush.”
The Irish Sweepstakes began in 1930 to raise funds for Irish hospitals and lasted for 57 years, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which said this sweepstakes raised more money in the United States than any other country, including Ireland. “All the tickets sold there were smuggled in and sold illegally,” said the encyclopedia. “There was much counterfeiting of tickets, seldom detectable because the purchaser had no further interest in the ticket if it was not a winning ticket.”http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/294177/Irish-Sweepstakes
I have never won the lottery, other than $3 or $4 (not millions) on Powerball. I don’t buy these tickets unless the pot has grown to at least $250 million because if I’m going to lose, I might as well lose really big.
When it comes to get rich quick schemes, I may have already lost. Apparently, the L on more forehead was not for Liberal as I have long contended.
On the bright side, by not winning the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, my kids don’t have as much reason to bump me off.
And yet, as I was writing this, I had email from Publisher’s Clearing House asking the question: “Susan T, if you won $3 million for your dream house, what exciting plans would YOU make?”