Friday, February 24, 2006
Westport ‘s Alan Abel is just back from doing what he likes to do best – pulling off a hoax. This time it was in Nebraska, home to this week’s $365 million Powerball winners.
Abel, aided by several others, briefly convinced many in the media that the winner was a boisterous, unemployed trucker from Omaha, according to the Des Moines Register.
A man posing as the lottery winner, under Abel’s guidance, spent midday Monday buying lunch for a roomful of strangers at a Village Inn in Lincoln, the newspaper said.
It said Bob Pagani of Pacific City, Ore., 54, took the starring role in the hoax as the faux trucker/jackpot winner who walked into the restaurant with $2,000 cash and a photocopy of the supposed winning ticket.
“Two others hired to portray the lotto winner’s niece and adopted son accompanied Pagani. Abel loitered outside. None of them phoned the media, and yet the first reporter arrived within 15 minutes,” the newspaper reported.
“Pagani remained at the restaurant for a couple of hours, at one point with five cameras in his face while also flanked by persistent radio and print reporters.”
Abel, who has made a career of pulling off stunts and hoaxes, told the newspaper from his Westport home: “It’s really a terrible thing to win the Powerball.”
He then rattled off anecdotes about previous lotto winners’ lives falling apart as they grappled with greed and logistics in the wake of their windfall, the newspaper said.
“It’s worthy of making fun of, like the Super Bowl. I once had a fake official in the bowl,” he said.
Abel, 81, has made elaborate hoaxes his calling card. His daughter even filmed an award-winning documentary about it, “Abel Raises Cain.”
Posted 02/24/06 at 01:15 PM Permalink
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Read this and much more at http://www.andykaufmanlives.com