William Donaldson's "The Henry Root Letters" are a wonderful example of the comic potential of hoax communications.
In that vein, I recently received the following:
Lotto - Zo werkt Lotto Government Accredited Licensed lottery promoters. International Promotions/Prize Award Department.I replied with the following (from a suitably disposable address and after obfuscating above indices):
This Lottery is approved by the Netherlands Gaming Board and also Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAG international emails. held on the 29th November, 2006.all winnings must be claim not later than Decembre 7th, 2006, after this date,unclaimed funds will be returned to the Lotto.
Your email won the lottery.For a total pay out of €1,000,000. no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy.
Please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers:
1, Batch 9484-9116-0076
2, Ref: 637405467-Nll
3, lucky numbers 1-0958-31-444
To file for your claim, please contact
Advocate Faber Dutchs
Tel: +31 -619 255 080
From the desk of Renry HootLet's see if they are even set up to deal with responses.
Dear Sirs, thank you very much for the good news, I am ecstatic to hear about my good fortune. I have never won anybody before (Mrs. Hoot as the exception of course), much less 1 million Europeans!
Before we proceed I do have some questions on which I would appreciate clarification:
1) for those Europeans I have won, am I responsible for their travel costs from their respective homelands to mine? I do acknowledge that, even with this expense, I stand to benefit greatly from their subsequent labours, but I do need to budget accordingly.
2) To what standard of living are my prizes used? I do plan of course on providing them the base necessities but don't see the sense of spoiling them with luxuries beyond that to which they are accustomed. For instance, might a typical European find soap and similar toiletries an unexpected and unwelcome oddity? I'm sure you'll understand why I'd prefer to save this expense if possible.
3) Canada can be a cold country. Perhaps you could begin the conditioning process by occasional walk-in freezer sessions? If you could simultaneously broadcast French language programs to them that would be extremely helpful - it is that unique combination of shivering and strange vocalizations that typifies my country.
4) Related to above, any French language skills would be a welcome bonus (unless of course you are shipping me Frenchmen. If this is absolutely necessary please keep them to a minimum - Canada is already quite socialist enough Ha-Ha).
Thanks again. I'm very excited and happy to be the new owner of so many Europeans (although the task of choosing new names for them is daunting!)
p.s. I wonder if your lottery might be affiliated with a similar one in Asia? Is there any precedent for trading some or all of my Europeans for Asians? I would be of course be willing to consider a considerable exchange rate, perhaps 5 to 1? Please advise if this is a possibility (and whether a donation to a 'charity' of your choice might expedite the process).