39 year old Detroit file clerk Lorraine Johnson today expressed concern that the $20 gift certificate to the restaurant chain Applebee's had as yet failed to pop up on her computer screen. "I got this email that said if I were to forward the email to 5 people," Lorraine told reporters, "as soon as the emails were all sent I'd get a $20 gift certificate popping up on my screen that I could print and take to the restaurant. I haven't been on the internet very long but for some reason all the people I've been sending forwards to have told me not to send them any more forwards. So it was kind of hard to find 5 email addresses, but I spent most of the morning on the phone talking to my friends and relatives until I got 5 email addresses. I went in right away just like it said and forwarded it to all 5 people. It didn't say that I had to do it right away, but maybe there was some sort of expiration time, or maybe there are only so many or something, but it didn't say that."
Johnson has already replied to the sender of the email, a firstname.lastname@example.org, asking how long it should take to get this certificate, whether she may have not responded in time, and whom to contact should the certificate not come, but as yet she has not received a reply. "I'm afraid to turn off my computer," Johnson continued, "because I'm afraid it will pop up when the computer is off and I'll lose it."
Despite the fact that Lorraine has only had access to email for a little over a month, this is not the first time she's experienced frustration with an email offer. She claims she is still waiting for a huge check from Bill Gates, as apparently he is giving away his fortune to random recipients of this email she was lucky enough to get, which explained how she'd get $245 for every person she forwarded the email to, $243 for every person they forwarded the email to and another $241 for every person they forwarded the email to! She forwarded this to 78 people and though she's not very good at math, she expects that when the checks start rolling in, she'll be a billionaire. She hopes the checks will start arriving soon because the exiled Nigerian prince who is planning to transfer his $43 million fortune into her bank account in order to get the money out of Nigeria (she is supposed to get to keep 10%), accidentally made the transfer in reverse and wiped out her entire checking balance. She expects that will be resolved any day now, but until then, she was really counting on the Applebee's gift certificate so she can afford to take herself to lunch as she's been understandably strapped for cash lately.
"It's enough to make you lose faith in the internet," Johnson said.