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A Florida Couple Was Arrested for Selling Golden Tickets to Heaven-Fiction!

Religious

A Florida Couple Was Arrested for Selling Golden Tickets to Heaven-Fiction!

Truth or Fiction

A Florida Couple Was Arrested for Selling Golden Tickets to Heaven-Fiction! 


Summary of eRumor:
Reports have gone viral on social media sites that a Florida couple was arrested for selling “golden tickets to heaven” to hundreds of people for $99.99 per ticket.
The Truth:
A fake news website started this hoax.
The website Stuppid.com reported that a couple named Tito and Amanda Watts told their marks that they could “simply present the ticket at the pearly gates” to get into heaven. The website quoted Tito as saying:
“I don’t care what the police say. The tickets are solid gold… it ain’t cut up two by fours I spray painted gold. And it was Jesus who give them to me behind the KFC and said to sell them so I could get me some money to go to outer space. I met an alien named Stevie who said if I got the cash together he’d take me and my wife on his flying saucer to his planet that’s made entirely of crack cocaine.You can smoke all the crack cocaine there you want… totally free. So, try to send an innocent man to jail and see what happens. You should arrest Jesus because he’s the one that gave me the golden tickets and said to sell them. I’m willing to wear a wire and set Jesus up…”
The Jacksonville Sun-Times mistakenly re-reported the story as though it was actual news, and it has since been shared more than 500,000 times on social media websites. The Sun-Times later said that the story was an April Fool’s Day Joke that it had fallen for:
“UPDATE: This story turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, and unfortunately we fell for it. The story, which several other websites also reported as fact, originated on March 31 with the websiteStuppid.com, and the photos of the fictional “Tito and Amanda Watts” came from this 2011 collection of bizarre mug shots. We apologize for publishing false information and regret this error.”
According to Stuppid’s disclaimer: “Stuppid.com reports stupid news we find around the web and from other sources. We aim to publish the stupidest, craziest stuff we can find.” The website regularly reports on fake news stories..


A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 06/04/2015

Tito and Amanda Watts were arrested over the weekend for selling “golden tickets to heaven” to hundreds of people. The couple, who sold the tickets on the street for $99.99 per ticket, told buyers the tickets were made from solid gold and each ticket reserved the buyer a spot in heaven — simply present the ticket at the pearly gates and you’re in.
“People can sell tickets to heaven,” a Jacksonville police spokesman said. “But the Watts misrepresented their product. The tickets were just wood spray painted gold with ‘Ticket To Heaven – Admit One’ written in marker. You can’t sell something as gold when it’s not. That’s where the Watts crossed the line into doing something illegal.”
Tito Watts said in his police statement:
I don’t care what the police say. The tickets are solid gold… it ain’t cut up two by fours I spray painted gold. And it was Jesus who give them to me behind the KFC and said to sell them so I could get me some money to go to outer space. I met an alien named Stevie who said if I got the cash together he’d take me and my wife on his flying saucer to his planet that’s made entirely of crack cocaine. You can smoke all the crack cocaine there you want… totally free. So, try to send an innocent man to jail and see what happens. You should arrest Jesus because he’s the one that gave me the golden tickets and said to sell them. I’m willing to wear a wire and set Jesus up…
Amanda Watts said in her police statement:
We just wanted to leave earth and go to space and smoke rock cocaine. I didn’t do nothing. Tito sold the golden tickets to heaven. I just watched.