A young man spent the night receiving calls and messages from dozens of people after his friends intentionally spread a false rumour that he had won the €1.4 million Super 5 jackpot yesterday.
Gayle Lynn Callus, 27, deactivated his Facebook account to stop people from spreading the news further but it actually worked against him. Instead, the rumour kept spreading like wildfire, with people using his Facebook deactivation as evidence.
“It all started because I was admitted to hospital this Sunday. I’m home now but one of my friends came up with this idea yesterday to cheer me up. So they started this rumour, simply by posting it on enough Whatsapp groups,” he told Lovin Malta.
Sure enough, anyone who remotely knew Gayle Lynn heard about the rumour.
“This morning I realised that the Facebook deactivation didn’t help so I reactivated it and I decided I had to put up a post about it to explain.”
The post read: “Kindly note that this rumour where I’ve won the super 5 lottery is unfortunately not true. I wish it was, as it would have been a great opportunity to give a helping hand. Please stop spreading rumours.”
Gayle Lynn is now joking about the incident but he thinks it serves an important lesson.
“It’s worrying to be honest. You can spin anything these days. And this is easily translated to politics. We simply seem to receive info and accept it immediately.”
“People love gossip, people are still asking if it’s true or if I simply don’t want to tell anyone that I won. At least it served as a getaway from the pain for the moment”.
Nathan Gatt, the friend who started the rumour, said he never thought the rumour would spread so fast but it just goes to show how curious people can be about these things.
“We just wanted to cheer him up,” he said.