I got a laugh out of an entry in Scott Adam’s DilbertBlog describing favorite April Fool’s jokes. It reminded me of maybe the best (and dirtiest) prank I ever heard about. It happened years ago at PC Magazine. I wasn’t there when it happened, but it was related to me by someone who was.

The magazine staff at that time included three young editors–a guy and two girls–who were fast friends and frequently went to lunch together. The guy (who shall remain nameless in order to avoid embarrassing anyone) had a little routine he’d go through every week. On the way back to the office after lunch on Friday, he’d purchase a ticket for Saturday night’s New York lottery. He’d stick the lottery ticket in his desk and on Monday morning, as he flipped through the morning paper, he’d pull out the ticket and compare it to the winning numbers in the newspaper. He never won, but the girls caught on to his little routine and decided to have some fun.

One Sunday, they purchased a lottery ticket with last week’s winning numbers (which were announced Saturday night). They got in to work early Monday morning and replaced the ticket in their friend’s desk with the ticket they had just purchased. Then they waited. They watched their guy sit down at his desk and begin flipping through the morning paper. Sure enough, after a few minutes, he reached into his desk, pulled out the lottery ticket, and checked the numbers.

My written description can’t do justice to what happened next, but suffice it to say that the young man ran whooping and hollering from his office screaming “I’m rich! I’m rich!” As luck would have it, he ran into his boss and took the opportunity to tell him what a dirty scheming SOB he was. Seeing that things were getting out of control, the girls practically tackled him in the hallway to tell him it was just a joke.

I hear he enjoyed his next gig at Field & Stream. We didn’t see him around PC Magazine much after that.