An article in SFGate.com describes how the owners of FieldReport.com devised what they thought was a sure-fire way to generate interest in their literary site. They decided to offer a "$250,000 prize for whichever short nonfiction piece received the highest ranking from the site's users by Jan. 1, 2009. A series of $1,000 qualifying prizes would be awarded in the months leading up to the quarter-million-dollar payout."
Problem is, no one believed them.
"We got this dead-face, 'My-god-you-guys-must-be-Nigerian-scammers' reaction," he said...
In a neat ironic twist, one of their few early adopters who was a serious contender for the prize money appeared to be a Nigerian scammer.
The contributor in question uploaded a few stories and suddenly, Petty said, "we noticed we had lots and lots of reviewers coming from Nigerian IP addresses. In the early days of the site, it was possible for an individual who created 20 accounts to influence the ratings pretty easily."
Personally, I still wouldn't believe this offer is real -- not until the cash is placed in someone's hands.