News Columns & Blogs

Anything for attention

We get all kinds of calls, and they often become interesting around the holidays.

Good story tips come in, but there are others.

Today started with a caller offering us good news, "if we're interested." Sure, and she proceeded to tell us about local $200,000 Powerball winners who bought their ticket at a local store.

This caller offered names of the winners and the store and a phone number, and said the winners were just one number from the jackpot.

Great story, we thought, perfect for Thanksgiving.

But it was a joke. A reporter called the apparent winner to find out it never happened.

Why would a caller make something like this up? You never know about the holidays, as anyone who has worked in newsrooms know.

Back in my Harrisburg days, we had a fake obit called in on Christmas Day. Just like that.

Our lottery caller gave the same story to at least one local TV station too. She never offered her name or number.

Kind of sad. Anything for attention.