A homeless man from Virginia, was overcome with emotion after a stranger gave him a ‘winning’ lottery ticket worth $1,000.
The heart-warming stunt which took place in Newport Mews, was organised by YouTube prankster the Magic of Rahat, who has built a reputation on freaking out his unsuspecting victims.
But on this occasion, he decided to do some good by setting up the fake lottery win to make the man’s day, giving him the $1,000 to keep for real.
Rahat says he heard that a homeless man in his neighborhood was a ‘nice and respectable guy,’ so he decided to do something nice and capture it on camera.
‘Listen man, I don’t really have any money to give you but I do have this winning lottery ticket,’ he told the unsuspecting man, caleld Eric, who was sitting on the curb in a hooded sweatshirt.
‘I don’t really know how much I won. … I can give this to you. I can take you to the store and we can get this cashed.’
The two walked into a local store to check the ticket.<br/>
Once inside the convenience store, the homeless man handed the ticket to the clerk. “Oh my gosh. Guess what? You won $1,000 dollars,” the clerk said.
‘You’re kidding me right?’ Eric asked in disbelief.
The clerk took out the cash and promptly counted off 10 $100 bills before handing it to him.
What the homeless man didn’t know was the ticket was actually a losing ticket, and the clerk was also in on the surprise.
On learning he has ‘won’ $1,000 he is understandably stunned and immediately offers to share his winnings.
‘I want to share it,’ he said. ‘This right here is enough for me. I would like to share it with you, big guy.’
When Rahat told him to keep it all, the man broke down in tears and hugged his new friend. Rahat also appeared to get teary-eyed in the video.
‘It’s all good,’ Rahat told him. ‘You earned it. You won the lottery man.’
Both men left the store wiping their eyes.
‘I’ve been doing this for a long time, a long time. And never, never had a friend, had somebody, do what you did. Never,’ the man told Rahat.
The video has already has more than 9 million views in just a few days, and it’s not hard to see why.
On his Twitter account Rahat said he was happy to help the man and may set up a fund for him since so many people have asked to also contribute to him.
‘I try to help people as much as I can. That brings me happiness,’ he wrote.
However, it has divided opinion, with one viewer commenting: ‘Aw this made me cry, it’s so beautiful :)’
Another added: ‘What makes you think you are entitled to manipulate his reaction?’
Others have commented the man could be an actor.
Rahat has established a reputation online for funny and shocking pranks.
Millions have watched the magician’s YouTube videos. He has gained internet fame through a series of drive-thru pranks
Some comments under the original video suggested Rahat had only made the short film to get advertising revenue from YouTube.
‘In my opinion this is all about using a homeless person to generate monetized views on YouTube,’ wrote one viewer.
Others thought the clip could be a fake, with another comment reading ‘Come on, these are actors! Don’t believe the hype…it’s all made up professionally.’
Another blog, Hypervocal, looked at the video with a healthy dose of cynicism.
‘The scope of YouTubers who are building their #personal #brands by seemingly casting homeless people in their springboards to instant viral fame, and there may be something more troubling at play here.
This leap to fame online has quickly developed into a genre: Helping the homeless with the world watching has become one of the web’s easiest ways to get noticed.
To be sure, these YouTubers are actually helping individuals in the short term. That’s commendable. But there’s very little follow-through, nor public concern for what comes next,’ the website commented.
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