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November 24, 2014

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Columnist Tom Gorman: On those e-mails that ostensibly make him a millionaire

Tom Gorman's column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at [email protected] or at (702) 259-2310.

Seems that I'm on the path to immense wealth, thanks to a handful of e-mails I've received in recent weeks.

F. Vincent from Amsterdam wrote that I am among only seven people worldwide selected to win $1 million in a computerized lottery.

I don't recall buying a lottery ticket, but I'm told I can begin the process of collecting the cash by disclosing some personal information. (I haven't told my wife yet of my fate, lest she spend the money before it arrives).

If and when the money comes in, I'm heading to Binion's. Double or nothing, baby.

So imagine my utter surprise when, in a different e-mail, I was notified by a company from Manchester, England, that I had won another computer-generated lottery, this one for $800,000 euros. What are the chances?

Clearly luck is on my side, so with those winnings I'm going to drive to Primm, visit the little store just a few feet across the state line, and buy a ton of California lottery tickets. Can you say p-a-r-l-a-y?

And then there was that offer from a fellow named Kamane. (I'm not so foolish as to identify his last name, for fear someone unscrupulous will read this column and contact him first.)

Kamane, who said he is from Senegal, wants me to invest and manage $14.5 million of his money for our mutual benefit. He called me "friend" so I suspect we have met, perhaps in front of the Bellagio fountains.

With his huge cash infusion, I could launch one of those bloodsucking, storefront quick-cash loan businesses. Kamane and I could charge horrendous interest rates and double our money in no time!

The next two e-mails on my screen seemed juxtaposed. One was from Al Atkins, who said he is from Scotland, and the other was from Kenneth McKay, who sounds Scottish but who said he is from Swaziland. Whatever.

Atkins, from Scotland, wants me to help him transfer "a huge amount" of money into a U.S. bank of my choice, for which I'll receive a 25 percent commission. I don't know why he can't do it himself.

But because it is so easy in Nevada to hide one's identity while setting up a corporation, I think I'll create the Bank of Tom and move forward with Mr. Atkins' investment needs. (Heh heh heh.)

Mr. McKay asked me to invest $18 million that he has stashed in a European vault. Maybe I can hook him up with Mr. Atkins so we could build a Strip condo high rise. Step back, Trump, there's a new player in town!

Some of these e-mails, I sadly suspect, are cases of mistaken identity.

To wit: A financial manager wrote that a very wealthy client died, and that an attorney would vouch for me as the sole surviving relative if I agreed to pay him half of the inheritance.

The victim's last name, though, is Peter. Maybe I could use some of my lottery winnings to change my last name.

And a man dying of cancer in Mauritius, wherever that is, offered me $1 million. He asked that I apply the money toward philanthropic purposes but, if he's dying, how would he know what I do with it?

He invoked the name of God several times, which was comforting, and said he found me on the Internet.

Curious, I searched for Tom Gormans on the Internet and found one who pitched for the New York Yankees and Kansas City Athletics during the 1950s, a Tom Gorman songwriter and a Tom Gorman who apparently is business savvy and wrote, among other things, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics." Really.

So now I don't know whether to call the dying millionaire from Mauritius or buy the Idiot's guide, which has my name all over it.

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