We’ve put together a list (a real list, no hoaxes here!) of some of the best pranks and hoaxes in New York City over the years. While some are legitimate, others are just actual fake or historically inaccurate infrastructures and objects. So, for a good laugh, here are 10 of the city’s pranks, hoaxes, and the like. We certainly had a good time putting this together.
10. Lucky Potatoes
Potatoes (left) and the cross streets of Liberty Street and Broadway in NYC (right). Images via potatoes.com(left)
In 1987, the New York Times gave its annual account on the weird April Fools Day pranks that happened in the city, and one of them just happened to involve vegetables. And not just any vegetable, “Bob’s Lucky Potatoes” sold by Bob Golub at the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway, near Wall Street. But what used to be a joke turned into an actual profit.
Turns out, Golub made about $100 a day selling his felt-tipped pen marked potatoes sprinkled with water from his grandma’s lucky well to stockbrokers. The prices of the vegetable are whatever the customer makes them to be, although he did once get a $200 tip from a stockbroker who hit it big while carrying one of Golub’s potatoes in his pocket. He wasn’t the only one either, apparently another customer bought Golub a tuxedo after winning several thousands of dollars in the lottery.
So, in 1987, there were, as Golub puts it “guys making $500,000 a year walking around here with lucky potatoes in their suits.” Whether or not they really were will never be known, but who knew an April Fools Day prank could turn a profit?