TV story on Canadian couple’s desire to give ‘You’ lottery winnnings a hoax

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Subject: Lottery winnings
My wife Violet and I Allen Large won 11.3M USD in a lottery 6-49 in July, 2010 and we have decided to donate the sum of 2M USD to you. Contact us via our personal email for more details ( You can verify our story by visiting the web page below.

When Boise resident Gregory Joseph received this email he was right to ignore it. Oftentimes these are phishing scams to make certain that the email address is valid, and opening links and responding to emails may open you up to more problems.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 9.03.06 AM

Courtesy CTV News, Nova Scotia

In researching this, I came across the header on the Nova Scotia Television station that did the original story about Violet and Allen Large who actually won the lottery.

Posted atop the link, the TV station wrote:

This news story was first published in 2010. Internet operations continue to link to this article to solicit funds from unsuspecting targets. The lottery funds have been distributed to charities and there is no reason to pursue any emails you may have received on the matter.

 If you click on the link above, you can read about the Large’s giveaway and who incredibly gave away large sums of money to charity.
Joseph was right not to click through the links.


Filed under News You Can Trust

8 responses to “TV story on Canadian couple’s desire to give ‘You’ lottery winnnings a hoax

  1. Mark Burrows

    It is true that some people win lotteries and in fact do not really have need for the grand sum of the monies. They are generous in making donations, but in doing so, it is not as casual as one would think. Donations over a certain amount must be distributed through certain legal representation to assure that it is not money laundering. No one hands money out to random strangers, that is pure fiction. Look what happened to that fellow in Utah that claimed Howard Hughes left him a fortune simply because he gave him a ride. Even if it was real, the mentality of Mr. Hughes at the time would have been challenged and any such document would be voided null.

  2. Sometimes ya just gotta wonder. I received this in my work email today (3/27)
    Complement of the season from the Large Family to you, this is to acknowledge your message to us today and this is 100% legitimate visit this web-page:

    My wife and I have decided to donate the sum of $2,000,000.00 USD to you as part of our charity project to improve the lives of lot many individuals in your local area from our $11.3 million Jackpot Lottery winning funds.

    DON’T fall for this…. even the TV station has put up a link on it.

    • Mark Burrows

      There is no doubt of the truth of the couple in Nova Scotia Canada’s windfall in the lottery, and the beauty of the Canadian lottery is that it is tax free all in one bundle. The concept being that you will use the money to keep the economy afloat and support Canadian business. By all means it is also their right to give it away if they choose. But if you actually read the story, they first shared among their family which took the lion’s share, then they donated to hospitals,church and other legitimate causes. Also, what they did not mention is the lottery commissions in Canada are tightly run and governed, they provide services to winners to help them legitimize their donations and do not charge them anything for these services. They certainly would never advocate a winner to offer a portion of their windfall to complete strangers through email or any site. Any attempt to do so would at the very least bring in a psychological evaluation by the family if not the, it would likely be the lottery commission itself because Canada has strict concerns about gambling and adverse effects of large wins.

  3. Tammy Skinner

    I got the same email just the other day im glad I just didnt read the website they sent me and searched further. Why do they do that? what is the purpose?

    • Mark Burrows

      The answer of why they do it is because criminals will take a good story and bend it to their corrupted values and take advantage of gullible people. The purpose is to perform a scam, these people are con artists. They use it to gather your personal information, name, address, phone number, email address, etc. This information is sold on two markets, one is legitimate but annoying, it is the advertising network that will plague your email, fill your postal box with more unwanted advertising, and your phone will not stop ringing with propositions for fantastic cruises, better services, and real estate mongers. The information is also sold to the underbelly of other scam operators, who pretend to be something they are not.
      The other side of the scam of gathering information is if your greed over rides your sense of logic and rational and you want to go for the money. Then the scam could go several ways. One they would request your bank account number for direct deposit and a blank voided check, and they will send you the proper form for your signature. Even just having your account number, they can still access your account in all sorts of dubious ways. The other thing is they could ask for a large fee to cover the costs of funds transfers from one foreign country to another, legal fees, for lawyers and their own bank fees. You know, a few thousand, after all, you are getting two million.
      Logic alone would dictate that none of this adds up. First, their winnings were only eleven million. If you read the factual story, the couple gave most of the money to their family. Then they gave to specific charities that they cared about. Do the math, after the bulk of the lottery win was already given out, the remaining portion would not be large enough to offer two million dollar packages. In fact, eleven million is not enough to be handing out two million dollar packages.

      • Mary Ellen

        I received the same email message a few days ago, I did respond because I did google the story and it was real, however, I wanted to find out if it was a scam and i have seen that it is. I am disabled, I haven’t been able to work since 2010. I am an older single parent who lives from day to day, my disability check does not reach the end of the month. I think it is a shame that people would take advantage of the couple by trying to make money on their generosity and further think it is a shame that they would prey on people like me who need something wonderful like being “randomly chosen from a Google profile” to be the recipient of such generosity. They told me that the only condition of getting the money would be that I would need to start a business that would create jobs in my area. I am very saddened by all of this and my heart goes out to the gentleman who lost his wife and how he must feel about this. There has to be a way to catch these people.

  4. Mark Burrows

    Well, Mary Ellen, there are endeavors to catch these criminals, con artists, and scam operators. When they do get caught, they get punished to the full letter of the law. Yet only the notorious of them get publicized. The reason the majority of criminals that get caught are kept quiet is because they generally do not work alone and often work in either a cellular or a pyramid operation and by quietly putting away offenders leaves better opportunities to catch bigger fish.
    So, be rest assured, law enforcement agencies are doing their job, but it is not an easy job because these criminals are very good at covering their tracks.
    It is up to us to learn to police the internet. It is up to us to become aware and educate ourselves against the schemes of this type of crime.
    This is why sites such as this one is available to assist folks, and provide a venue for them to discuss it.
    I always caution people to use common sense, think logical and practical possibilities of what any email is suggesting. There is no pot of gold at the end of the elusive rainbow, that is merely a myth. We need to learn to stop chasing it.
    There is no earthly possibility that anyone is going to mysteriously give money away. Yes, sometimes such things and an inheritance pops up, but you would never be emailed. You would received registered mail from a barrister or a legal firm. Such documents can be confirmed by your legal adviser or notary public. Emails can not.
    Responding to anything that you are not personally familiar with is highly dangerous and risky. You are looking at anything from identity theft to account robbery and at the very least viruses that will either screw up your computer or take a look around every time you are online, then help themselves to all kinds of material and personal information which they can use or sell to other criminals.
    It is not my purpose to frighten you, it is my purpose to make you aware that being curious is not a safe adventure with the internet.
    The internet is a great environment, and fun to explore, and you can do it without fear with simple steps. First, ignore any and all advertising. Second, do not click on any warnings or suggestions that your computer is at risk unless it is specifically from your Operating System or your Anti Virus software. Third, it is okay to open email, just never click on any links, that is what gets you into trouble.

    Mark Burrows

  5. Pingback: Harry Black is not giving you his lottery winnings; it’d put him in the red | snakeriverBBB

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