Facebook Powerball hoaxer: Girlfriend wanted me to nix it

Nolan Daniels, the software engineer who fooled many into believing he'd won the Powerball lottery, admits he wanted the Facebook shares record.

The triumphant pose. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You've probably not yet got over your disappointment that Nolan Daniels won't be giving you $1 million.

This is understandable. It's near Xmas and you've become rather excited about finally owning a four-bedroom McMansion with a Bilirubin-colored Lexus sitting outside.

Daniels -- for those who've been secreted in their panic rooms in preparation for Doomsday -- is the Arizona-based software engineer who faked (badly) a winning Powerball ticket and offered $1 million to one random person among those who would share his triumphant picture on Facebook.

Naturally, people's rapaciousness overtook their eyesight and more than 2 million clicked away on Facebook in the hope that fortune would kiss them.

Daniels seems to have secreted himself in his own panic room, as the kerfuffle threatened to become an online brawl. Now he has decided to speak to the Savannah Morning News, which originally broke the fascinating tale of modern perceptiveness.

He said he got the idea for his jape from another Facebook poster who had already tried it.

Next, he flexed his fingers and opened his Microsoft Paint. "I wasn't looking to make it authentic," he told the Morning News, offering an interesting advertisement for Microsoft's digital brushes.

Of course he was surprised at how many were duped. But then came the moment when he had to take a deep gaze inward.

Should he listen to his girlfriend and take the image down? Or should he listen to his co-workers and go for the record?

Not only is he a man, he's also a software engineer. Of course, he went for the record.

Once a record-breaker achieves his goal, though, then he thinks about the little people. And so it is with Daniels.

He has trawled through all the hard luck stories posted to his Facebook page, in search of ones that were moving -- and, most importantly, genuine.

He has chosen a Facebooker called Brooke Reeves-Charlton, who told him she has a brain disorder called Chiari malformation, as does her daughter.

Daniels explained that he chose her precisely because she was in need and not in greed -- and also because a friend of his also suffers from Chiari and his brother had once sustained a brain injury.

Reeves-Charlton had posted that she just wanted to pay her medical bills and give the rest to the American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project.

A slight drawback is that Daniels doesn't have $1 million to give her, so he's tried to find a way he can help raise money on her behalf.

Though he admits he can't verify her story entirely, he says he's done as much as he can to ascertain that her story is genuine. So he set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Reeves-Charlton and her daughter.

As he wisely told the Morning News: "I can't just go on Facebook and say, 'Hey, I'm the guy who fooled you -- please give me $1 to help this other person."

 

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