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I am the Luckiest Person Ever - The Tutorial

I have received comments from people wanting to know if they'd won.
Let me now drop what little subtle I had. You did not win.
LEARN MORE

Ok, people I KNOW you're reading this, so let me help you out here. Most of the lottery scams are poorly written, but I understand your style - and it is obviously working for you.

I am assuming that most of the scammees are assuming that your English skills are poor because you are from another country. I contend you will get a better response rate with a better crafted message. A real lottery would pay for a first-rate translator.


The Greeting, and Headers

Tell them who you are. People see the words "Lottery", "Prize", or "Sweepstakes" and get excited. This is your hook. Also make sure your email address reflects this in some way. I know you don't want to register your own domain (though that would be optimal) and run your own mail servers - but if you can't do that, get something important sounding.

   Mr. Alan Keys 	alansmith_mega-lotto@globalum.com 
	INTERNATIONAL MEGA-LOTTO
	Kempering 4-2d,
	7265KE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

	From: The Promotions Manager Prize and Award Department.

Please do not use "De Lotto" or "El-Gordo". You are inviting trouble. First off, the names mean nothing to those in the U.S. We've never heard of them. So you get no brand recognition. Second, it invites people to go to the web and contact the lotteries directly. That is obviously bad.

You may want to try "PowerBall International - Europe". It would be understandable one would need to contact someone outside the US if it is the European Division, and you get the name recognition you're looking for.

The Build Up

You want to tell them soon that they've won (so they don't think you're selling them anything), but don't state the amount too soon. You want a good build-up to the prize. Confusing build-up is good. Especially for old people. Even smart old people can be taken by surprise if you're good with it. Here is my example:

  WINNING NOTIFICATION:

  We are happy to announce the draw of the International Mega-Lotto
  held in [city].
  The email address [email] was associated with an E-Ticket  (Serial# [rand])
  On [date] the winning numbers of [numbers] were drawn. There was no Jackpot 
  winner, however your ticket matched 5 of the 6 numbers for a lump sum prize
  of [amount]!
  Congratulations!

Notes: City can be any large city. No need to mention the country here. Liege, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven should all work fine. Stay away from small cities and oddly spelled things like Assen or Bertrix.
Use the person's email address IN the message. It ads an extra level of personalization.
The serial number should be long - but not too long. Something like 042009-197627 looks good. It is the date followed by 10^6 possible numbers. It is perfectly believable.
The date should be well formatted. e.g. "October 12th, 2004".
The numbers should all be NUMBERS ("d" is not a number). They should always be in ascending order, and none should be larger than 68 (or so). This will give you believable odds, and will look like Americans expect their lottery to look like. Lets face it, you're scamming mostly older Americans.
The amount won should always be a round number. Jackpots are awarded in odd lots. First Prizes are always round. $100,000 or $250,000. Even $1,000,000 would be fine. If the lottery is in Europe: Use Euros. Most everyone knows 1 Euro is about 1 USD. If you are in the U.K.: use pounds. It makes no sense for some lottery based in Belgium to round off prize amounts in USD.

Use of language: Look out for "hard" words like "therefore" and "consequentially". Yes, they are correct. Yes, they mean exactly what you want them to mean. But - a lottery has to appeal to the lowest common denominator to get their money from as many people as possible. Keep the words simple.

The Obfuscation

People will likely be either ecstatic or cautious at this point. To belay the cautious ones, you can obfuscate the winning mechanism to make it more plausible. For the ecstatic - detail is good... something they can tell their friends...

I leave the reason as an exercise to the writer, but I'd believe this one... note the use of "trademarked" mechanisms.


  The winning numbers were chosen by computer using TruRandom(tm) selection. 
  Eligible participants were entered into the drawing from over 20,000 companies, each 
  of which could enter up to 1,000 individuals. If you have signed up for an email account
  or purchased merchandise online, you may have been entered by any of the participating
  companies (including Barnes and Nobel, MSN, Amazon, Yahoo and Ebay).
  This is a monthly promotion to raise awareness of International Mega-Lotto. International 
  Mega-Lotto is dedicated to global humanitarian efforts with an emphasis on health care
  and disease prevention in developing counties. It is funded through direct contribution
  by playing the lottery as well as by corporate sponsors.
  Winning claimants may choose to donate a portion or their prize to directly benefit this
  organization, but it is not required.

Ok, folks... This is golden! You are now a humanitarian effort! No one is pro-disease! You also have a foot in the door so people can "donate" to the cause out of unrelated bank accounts.
I swear, this is SO good, I've almost made myself ill... you miserable bastards.

NOTE! I did not say how much prize money was available. Since the Jackpot went unclaimed, that also doesn't matter. The purpose of mentioning how many have won and how much was available was to make people feel there were others - and they weren't being targeted. This should be well accomplished.
NOTE! Prizes should not exceed 1,000,000 Euro. Prizes of 2,000,000+ Euro are not believable as part of a non-jackpot standard payout. You may want to try MUCH smaller prizes for those who match 4 or 6 numbers (say 50,000 Euro). The people may find it more believable, AND since the value is smaller - it will appear more like you are an official "working" for them.

The Contact

The contact can be anywhere. Remember, we never said what country we were in. Again... it is international. For the average US citizen, there is US, Canada, Mexico, England, Europe, and Japan. I'm not kidding. Be sure to disclose where the contact is - and allow them to fill in any details. I'm going to assume they are good at lying, and can think quickly.

The contact should ALSO have handy what the current exchange rates are. That will be the first thing asked. "How much is that in dollars?" This number should NEVER be rounded, and should be presented to the penny. (e.g. $304,349.65)


  International winners are required to file for prizes with a third party agent.
  To claim your prize, please contact your assigned Claims Agent, Abe Vegota.
   Phone: +7 66 6947 649
	Email: abe_vegota@gremail.com

Keep this VERY VERY simple. People are dumb and will they to reply to forged email addresses, or return addresses that are invalid. You want to steer people to the contact; set if off from the rest of the email.

Standard Disclaimer

You need one of these. It sets all the ground rules, and gives eager folks something to read. Put whatever you want in here... I'll clean up text that I received as an example.

All winners must file a claim not later than 30 days after receipt of this notice.
To be eligible for future drawings, claims must be made within 4 days of receipt of this notice.

To avoid delays, please include your reference and batch numbers
found at the bottom of this message in all correspondence.

Inform your Claims Agent as soon as possible if you have a change of address.

Cash prizes are held in a temporary bank account assigned to a Claims Agent until
electronic transfer to claimant's financial institution can be enacted.

CONFIDENTIALITY:
Notification to any other person or agency of this award PRIOR TO International Mega-Lotto's
official press release will result in FORFEITURE OF ENTIRE PRIZE.

Closing

Sign it, congratulate, and get the hell out!

Congratulations once again from all the members of our staff and thank you for
being part of International Mega-Lotto's promotion program.

Sincerely, 
Alan Keys - Executive Vice President in Charge of Ripping Off the Elderly
International Mega-Lotto Headquarters
Ansterdam, The Netherlands


Ref. Number: YK-958/756/04222
Batch Number: 79VD-381127-54

The complete example!

Mr. Alan Keys 	alansmith_mega-lotto@globalum.com 
INTERNATIONAL MEGA-LOTTO
Kempering 4-2d,
7265KE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

WINNING NOTIFICATION:

We are happy to announce the draw of the International Mega-Lotto
held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The email address "blahblah@gmail.com" was associated with the E-Ticket (Serial# 042009-197627)
On October 12th, 2004 the winning numbers of 2, 4, 16, 19, 28, and 41 were drawn. There was no 
Jackpot winner, however your ticket matched 5 of the 6 numbers for a lump sum prize of 100,000 Euro!
Congratulations!

The winning numbers were chosen by computer using TruRandom(tm) selection. 
Eligible participants were entered into the drawing from over 20,000 companies, each 
of which could enter up to 1,000 individuals. If you have signed up for an email account
or purchased merchandise online, you may have been entered by any of the participating
companies (including Barnes and Nobel, MSN, Amazon, Yahoo and Ebay).
This is a monthly promotion to raise awareness of International Mega-Lotto. International 
Mega-Lotto is dedicated to global humanitarian efforts with an emphasis on health care
and disease prevention in developing counties. It is funded through direct contribution
by playing the lottery as well as by corporate sponsors.
Winning claimants may choose to donate a portion or their prize to directly benefit this
organization, but it is not required.

International winners are required to file for prizes with a third party agent.
To claim your prize, please contact your assigned Claims Agent, Abe Vegota.
   Phone: +7 66 6947 649
	Email: abe_vegota@gremail.com


All winners must file a claim not later than 30 days after receipt of this notice.
To be eligible for future drawings, claims must be made within 4 days of receipt of this 
notice.
To avoid delays, please include your reference and batch numbers found at the bottom of 
this message in all correspondence.
Inform your Claims Agent as soon as possible if you have a change of address.
Cash prizes are held in a temporary bank account assigned to a Claims Agent until
electronic transfer to claimant's financial institution can be enacted.

CONFIDENTIALITY:
Notification to any other person or agency of this award PRIOR TO International Mega-Lotto's
official press release will result in FORFEITURE OF ENTIRE PRIZE.



Congratulations once again from all the members of our staff and thank you for
being part of International Mega-Lotto's promotion program.

Sincerely, 
Alan Keys - Executive Vice President in Charge of Ripping Off the Elderly
International Mega-Lotto Headquarters
Ansterdam, The Netherlands


Ref. Number: YK-958/756/04222
Batch Number: 79VD-381127-54

N.B. This should be word wrapped more carefully.

I have received comments from people wanting to know if they'd won.
Let me now drop what little subtle I had. You did not win.
LEARN MORE


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