Lying, Luck, Horny: Online Intervention


Inspired by an instance where I felt alienated after playing the lottery and winning and losing and winning and ultimately losing, I became interested in that sense of loss and betrayal by yourself (trusting yourself that you are lucky enough to win only to be reminded you are wrong and the odds are against you everyday (HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID)). 

I championed myself The Mega Millions Middleman and prompted the patrons of craigslist Pittsburgh to call (412)499 8800 to hear their fortunes. I bought a flip phone with a 90 day service plan for the phone number. I posted two ads, one on “cell phone/ mobile services” and another on “missed connections”, and ten forums: word association, frugal living, vegan forum, self-employment, electronics, Boomers, insomnia, Psychology, Bicycling, and Arts Forum. I posted at random and hoped for something to stick. I had to post my email and the phone number so I had people responding to both points of contact. Within minutes of posting them all I had about a dozen emails and a few calls. Since I could not just wait by the phone for days and answer whenever it rang, I missed a few calls but always tried my best to call back. Within the time frame, I ended with five successful calls. No one called me back to thank me for their earnings because there were none. Further, most of my posts have been deleted. 

I went by the handle LittleMother. If I had gone by a more gender-neutral handle, or even masculine, it would have completely changed the responses I received. Because my persona was feminine, I attracted a demographic of males that were eager. After I realized that it was only this demographic contacting me, the project shifted from an interest in luck to an interest in lying and tricking and who was calling and why they were listening to me. People go after feelings of luck and are willing to listen to obvious lies. I created a situation of trust in me that is ultimately futile. Hypothetically, these people who listened to the numbers and maybe bought lottery tickets would have to share their winnings to anyone else who redeemed their numbers. I like the idea of putting people in that situation and them trusting me with their odds when their odds would be higher before calling me. There is also an aspect of humor; it’s like millenials taking a Buzzfeed quiz. 

 I would like to continue this project in different variations (different handles, different service, etc) and see what changes about the responses and how far people are willing go to believe something. 

This is a difficult project for me to articulate accurately because it complicated itself and is smarter than I am.

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