Saturday, April 13, 2002

Lottery Libel

The list of lottery fantasies just got more diverse. In my 4/9/02 post I mentioned that I had never heard of anyone who, when asked what they would do with a lottery jackpot, had plans more interesting than the purchase of a new house or car. Now the New Yorker has presented us with an exception - and a minor scandal. When asked what she would do with jackpot winnings, environmental scientist Dana Fisher told an ad agency creating billboards for the New York state lottery that she would "Establish a foundation that would deal with global environmental issues." As it turns out, the agency picked her as one of their models and put her face up on a billboard. Unfortunately, they decided that her quote was a little dry, so next to her photo was the statement that if she won a million dollars, she would "buy a car and a cute driver to go with it."

She was less than amused, and her faith in the whole campaign has faltered:

"The experience has made Fisher wonder about the quotes on the seven hundred and ninety-seven other Lotto ads around the city. Are they fictional, too? 'There's an older woman on one poster,' Fisher said. 'Her quote says she'd buy a house where she could live with her grandkids. And I'm thinking, Hmm. Does she even have grandkids? She might be sad and alone and live with a lot of cats. Or she could be a lesbian who never had children.'"

In all likelihood, we'll never know. Thanks to Francie Burkhart for the story.

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