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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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Comment: I vaguely recall hearing of someone who took out an ad in the Los
Angeles Times stating, in full "Last chance to send your dollar to PO Box
..." (full address).

My recollection of the followup is that the Times later refused to take
such an ad. However, I recently heard from a generally reliable
correspondant that he was convicted of mail fraud, possibly on the grounds
of "implied promise". I recall hearing from another source that he was
prosecuted because he repeated the ad.

I don't know if this qualifies as an "Urban Legend" or not, but it seems
to be generally similar to the material you have, and I've recently heard
it with "Los Angeles Times" replaced by "New York Times", so it may
qualify.

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Avril
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I heard the story this way:

A poor man takes out a classified ad in the New York Times. It reads:

"Today is absolutely the last day to send in your $2."

It's followed by an address.

Man becomes millionaire, but is arrested on the basis of an implied promise of goods/services in return for the $2.

Avril

--------------------
There is no failure unless one stops. --Ray Bradbury

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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I can remember about 15 years ago, a syndicated editorial writer had a write-up in my local paper on the opinion page asking people to send in a penny. (I absolutely cannot remember why) He said, "just a penny, look under your couch cushions,(etc.)" I don't believe he was expecting much of a response. Well, he ended up getting about a half million dollars in pennies in the mail (well some people sent dimes, quarters, a dollar or 2) He had a follow-up a few months later asking people to stop (and I believe he gave the money to charity).
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BrianB
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
I don't know if this qualifies as an "Urban Legend" or not, but it seems
to be generally similar to the material you have, and I've recently heard
it with "Los Angeles Times" replaced by "New York Times", so it may
qualify.

In the late 60s (either '68 or '69) my dad told me that this had happened in the New York Times.
Brian

--------------------
"Dear Big Foot Smellers: Please don't quote me on some of this information." John F. Winston

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NansJns
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I've heard this one, too. As I heard it, some of the people who sent him money tried to sue him or something, but the judge threw it out, because the ad never said anything would be sent out to those who mailed money. No promise was made! I always thought it was kind of funny; a prime example of how foolish some folks can be.

*~*NansJns*~*

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Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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"...signed, 'Happy Guy,' 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield."

--------------------
"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

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LittleDuck
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Mr. Furious, I thought of The Simpsons too. "Would you like to be happy like me?"
I can't see why, if the quotes from the OP are "accurate" that the person could be prosecuted. The ad never promises anything, as Nans points out, it just says to send money to a certain address. I think that it is totally believeable that people would be gullible enough to follow simplistic directions like this. Maybe it did stem from what CD mentioned.

Little "wish I had thought of this" Duck

--------------------
"Silly customer, you cannot hurt a Twinkie." -Apu (The Simpsons)

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Ophelia42
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by CD:
I can remember about 15 years ago, a syndicated editorial writer had a write-up in my local paper on the opinion page asking people to send in a penny. (I absolutely cannot remember why) He said, "just a penny, look under your couch cushions,(etc.)" I don't believe he was expecting much of a response. Well, he ended up getting about a half million dollars in pennies in the mail (well some people sent dimes, quarters, a dollar or 2) He had a follow-up a few months later asking people to stop (and I believe he gave the money to charity).

Might you be thinking of the guy who financed his college education by asking readers of a syndicated column to send just a penny?
My first book-a-chow?

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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia42:
quote:
Originally posted by CD:
I can remember about 15 years ago, a syndicated editorial writer had a write-up in my local paper on the opinion page asking people to send in a penny. (I absolutely cannot remember why) He said, "just a penny, look under your couch cushions,(etc.)" I don't believe he was expecting much of a response. Well, he ended up getting about a half million dollars in pennies in the mail (well some people sent dimes, quarters, a dollar or 2) He had a follow-up a few months later asking people to stop (and I believe he gave the money to charity).

Might you be thinking of the guy who financed his college education by asking readers of a syndicated column to send just a penny?
My first book-a-chow?

YES!

Thanks! It was so long ago, I couldn't remember too many details, just the basic gist of the story.

I think my mom even sent him a little loot.

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