Facebook Powerball Hoax Guy Says It Was Just a Social Experiment, No Harm No FoulBy: Josh Wolford - December 18, 2012
The guy that shopped a Powerball ticket earlier this month and duped millions of people into thinking he would split his winnings is finally speaking about the hoax. Nolan Daniels, a software developer, says that he never shared or liked any likebait posts and never asked anyone to – until he logged on to Facebook to see a surprising number of his friends sharing an obvious lottery hoax post.
In a blog post written for The Huffington Post, Daniels explains why he decided to start the now-legendary hoax:
“I myself have never shared or liked anything for that reason and I’ve never asked others to share or like something. Then Nov. 29, 2012, came around and I came home from work and saw people sharing a photo of a man holding a digitally manipulated photo of winning Powerball numbers to the biggest Powerball drawing that was all over the news. In the description he said that a book inspired him to pick the winning numbers and he attached a link to where you could purchase the book.
It was obvious to me that this person was gaining something monetary for sharing that link so people could purchase this book. I was amazed at my friends who were sharing it so I decided to do it myself and see who’d fall for it. I quickly snapped a photo and spent 15 minutes moving the numbers to look like winning numbers. I knew they were out of order and that the remaining winner had a 10-pick ticket, but I also knew that would add to my curiosity of who reads the news and does their research before clicking a button.”
He said that the photo received over 400,000 shares in 18 hours, and over two million within three days. He definitely wasn’t the only one perpetrating a powerball hoax, but he was definitely the most successful.
He also says that the fact that he didn’t try to promote anything with his hoax, and that led to its credibility.
The sad part about this “social experiment” is that he apparently received thousands of messages from people, many of which had sad stories to tell about how they needed the money.
“There are not too many positives that can come from a hoax or scam but hopefully with my story I can try and turn a negative into a positive. A viral hoax can give a person like myself 15 minutes of fame and rather than attempt to exploit or profit from the situation, I can instead try to help a stranger,” he says.
With that in mind, he’s using his 15 minutes to raise money for one of the people that sent him a private message, a mother with a 6-figure medical debt.
All forgiven? A harmless social experiment? Douchebag move? What do you think?