Fake News: A Lottery Winner was Arrested for dumping Manure on Ex-Boss’s Lawn

Ashley Frazier
3 min readMar 14, 2021

Introduction

In 2018, a picture and story spread wildly across Facebook, claiming a lottery winner was arrested for putting manure on his ex-bosses lawn. The post from, The Putnam Way shows a mug shot of a man with a smile on his face. The image and story are pretty entertaining and appeal to several thousand people, as this story had 2.3 million interactions and over 285 thousand shares. But is the story true? After a quick google search, the truth behind this story is revealed.

After searching the internet for “Brian Morris lottery,” many websites popped up claiming that the story in question was fake. The Putnam Way post states that Brian Morris won $125 million from the lottery. Two weeks after his win, Morris purchased $200,000 worth of manure. He then had the manure brought to his previous boss’s house to be dumped. His ex-boss, George Fitzgerald, was home and heard the trucks and called the police. The story claims that it took the police 15 minutes to arrive on the scene. By the time the police arrived, 10,000 tons of manure had already been dumped on the lawn. Mr. Morris was waiting across the street and confessed to the police right away. Mr. Morris stated that he had worked for Fitzgerald for many years and was fed up.

Research

The article claimed that 10,000 tons of manure were dumped on Mr. Fitzgerald’s lawn prior to the police arriving on the scene. After doing research, I found information that makes this claim impossible. A standard dump truck can hold up to 10 to 14 cubic yards of soil. There are roughly 1.15 cubic yards in 1 ton. So that means each dump truck carried approximately 12 tons of manure. To dump 10,000 tons of manure, around 833 dump trucks would have to be present to do so. The claim that this many trucks could dump this much manure in 15 minutes is an impossible task. While researching the photo in the article, Snopes found that the person in the picture is not of Brian Morris. The original image was taken in 2014 when Ronald Searl was arrested for a DUI. Snopes also found that World News Daily Report posted the original article. World News Daily Report is a known satirical website that is known for making false claims.

There are so many stories that surface every day on social media. The websites that make these claims know their audience and know what appeals to them. The images and captions pull people in, and it isn’t always easy to tell if the stories are true or not. So it is best to do some research if you think that the information is too good to be true.

Works Cited

How Much Can a Dump Truck Carry? www.lynchtruckcenter.com/how-much-can-a-dump-truck-carry/.

LaCapria, Kim. Was a Lottery Winner Arrested for Dumping $200,000 of Manure on the Lawn of His Former Boss? 15 May 2018, www.snopes.com/fact-check/lottery-winner-arrested-dumping-200000-manure-lawn-former-boss/.

“Lottery Winner Arrested for Dumping $200,000 of Manure on Ex-Boss’s Lawn.” Facebook, The Putnam Way, 29 Sept. 2018, www.facebook.com/ThePutnamWayNews/photos/lottery-winner-arrested-for-dumping-200000-of-manure-on-ex-boss-lawn54-year-old-/1825413040911169/.

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