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Coat Hoax: Fake Lottery Winner Causes Riot

October 15, 2009

The riot wasn’t because she said she won the lottery, but actually didn’t.

It was because she told everyone in a local Burlington Coat Factory that she was paying their tab up to $500! You know how those Burlington Coat Factory folks roll!

When I first read this, I laughed.  I laughed for a few reasons:

  1. Why were these people shopping if they wanted a hand out?  Certainly these people were shopping with the intent to pay for their items, why get bent out of shape if it doesn’t work your way?
  2. Looting and rioting?  Sounds like we’re shopping with babies.  Did they change their diapers, too?
  3. What the hell was this lady thinking?

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A woman being driven around in a rented limousine pulled up at a coat store and announced she’d won the lottery and would pay for everyone’s purchases, police said, but she ended up causing a riot when customers realized it was a hoax.

Angry customers threw merchandise around and looted…, police said.

Linda Brown was arrested Tuesday after an hours-long shopping spree that began when she hired a stretch Hummer limousine to drop her off at a Burlington Coat Factory store, police Sgt. Lt. Michael Deakins said. Brown walked to a cash register and loudly announced she had won the lottery and would pay for each person’s merchandise up to $500, he said.

People flooded the registers as cashiers began ringing up purchase after purchase, but Brown had not yet paid the bill, Deakins said. At least 500 people filled the aisles and another 1,000 were outside trying to get in, he said.

“She was telling people she won $1.5 million,” Deakins said. “But it ends up she didn’t win anything. She had no money to pay for anything.”

“Well, of course, people like to hear that,” Deakins said. “Apparently they were in line calling relatives who were not at the store and told them to come.” Via


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