Below is an email that my wife received regarding her apparently winning 3 million dollars in the “Universal Lottery”. We don’t know of any such thing, nor has she registered. I resist letting her play the New Jersey State Lottery for a few reasons, and she has not played any lotteries outside.

This is most likely a scam. How do I know? Well, for one thing, lotteries are normally run by a state or nation and require funding; hence the education budget is normally raided when a lottery is established. Lotteries really aren’t run privately and they don’t just go looking for random email addresses to dispense the funds to.

Another clue to the possibility of this being a scam is that this email is dated for today, 22 December 2005, yet it requires a response by 19 December 2005. Hmmmmm, oversight, anyone?

Finally, I can tell it’s a scam because I found it listed here: http://www.fraudwatchinternational.com/internet/lottery_operatives.shtml .

I don’t know how many people will fall for this scam. Most likely, they are after bank account numbers. Sadly, I’m afraid that many will fall for it. Scams like these prey on people who are hurting, broke, and desperate. I’ve fallen for scams while in similar straights. When I was in the Navy, I didn’t have a lot of money. I got something in the mail for the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes, and since I needed money I sent off for it. Next thing you know, I’m getting junk mail and telemarketing calls left and right about all this money I supposedly won, I just had a pay a fee of anywhere from $5 to $400 to get it released. I actually did fall for the first couple of these.

Please, no matter how financially desperate you are, don’t fall for something like this. Often we get into bad straights through no fault of our own, yet sometimes it is our fault. The obvious solution is to never live above our means. If you have, it will take time and patience to get out, but you can get out. There are ways. Anyway, here is the scam email:

— Universal Lotto Winners universallottowinners06@hotmail.co.uk wrote:

From Universal Lotto Winners Thu Dec 22 05:22:51 2005

X-Apparently-To: ***********@yahoo.com via;
Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:33:35 -0800 X-Originating-IP: []
Return-Path: universallottowinners06@hotmail.co.uk
Authentication-Results: mta241.mail.mud.yahoo.com
from=hotmail.co.uk; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Received: from (EHLO hotmail.com) (
by mta241.mail.mud.yahoo.com with SMTP;
Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:33:27 -0800
Received: from mail pickup service by hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:22:51 -0800
Message-ID: BAY15-162356266B16A348F5351EF300@phx.gbl
Received: from by by15fd.bay15.hotmail.msn.com with HTTP;
Thu, 22 Dec 2005 13:22:51 GMT
X-Originating-IP: []
X-Originating-Email: [universallottowinners06@hotmail.co.uk]
X-Sender: universallottowinners06@hotmail.co.uk
Reply-to: universallottoclaimagent@gmail.com
From: “Universal Lotto Winners” universallottowinners06@hotmail.co.uk
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 13:22:51 +0000
Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 Dec 2005 13:22:51.0958
(UTC) FILETIME=[CF813560:01C606FA]
Content-Length: 1154

We are please to announce you as one of the 100 lucky winners in the UNIVERSAL LOTTO draw held on the 21ST of DECEMBER, 2005 All 10 winning addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international emails. Your email address emerged alongside 99 others as a category 2 winner in this year’s Annual UNIVERSAL LOTTO Draw. Consequently, you have therefore been approved for a total pay out of $3,000,000,00(Three Million US Dollars) only. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers all correspondence
1,Email ticket number: ticket # 88171/29281/57363
2,BATCH:# 742-109-527-UK43
3,The file Ref # : 920/210/4509
4,lucky # 9-21-81-91-34-45
5,lotto code # : FL09622/UK

Please contact the under listed claims officer as soon as possible for the immediate release of your winnings:
Email : universallottoclaimagent@gmail.com
For processing and remittance of your cash to a designated account of your choice. remember, all winnings must be claim not later than 19TH of DECEMBER, 2005,

After this date, All unclaims funds will be returned to the International Lotto, you should contact Mr. Van Grov about the claimant procedures, send your fax and telephone to Mr. Van Grov, this will enable his office to send the claims application form (A4)to you the Beneficiary.

Please note, in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers all correspondence. Further more, should there be any change of address do inform Mr. Van Grov as soon as possible. Mr. Van Grov is responsible for the processing of your approved file to the bank for payment. Congratulations once again, from all members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotions program. Once again on behalf of all our staff, reply to (( universallottoclaimagent@gmail.com ))

Sincerely, UNIVERSAL LOTTO COMPANY Promotions Manager The Lotto company

Yahoo! for Good – Make a difference this year.


It’s Christmas, Not Generic and Non-Offensive Holiday!

I am getting tired of the references to some “generic” holiday. I understand “the holidays” as a period of time spanning from pre-Thanksgiving to post-New Years, and yet the greatest of these holidays in our culture is Christmas. When was the last time people clogged the highways and ran up their charge cards to buy each other Thanksgiving presents? How about New Years presents? No, both of those holidays are boons for grocery stores and liquor stores, respectively. There are a few other holidays representing other religions, yet none have had the influence on western culture that Christmas has. Hanukah has been celebrated for more than 2000 years, and yet the Jews have not exactly exported it to other cultures and religions. Ramadan is not much of a profit margin for J.C. Penny’s and Wal-mart. Nope, Christmas is what this time of year is all about.

If people are that bothered by Christmas, then close your credit card accounts and get back to work.
Merry Christmas!