Fox’s “Secret Millionaire” Handed Out Fake Checks


On Wednesday, Fox premiered a new reality show called Secret Millionaire,  in which Louisiana rich guy Todd Graves, founder of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, was sent to a nearby Hurricane Katrina ravaged community to hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to downtrodden locals.

But close viewers, including commenters on the WSJ’s Wealth Report blog, noticed that the checks were dated 4/31/08. April, in case you’ve forgotten the rhyme, only has 30 days. So did Graves give out fake checks?

Yes, the checks were props like those big novelty checks. (Wait you can’t cash those giant checks that contest winners get?) But, don’t worry; the needy recipients still got the money.

Here’s more from Fox’s statement to The Wealth Report:

“The checks featured on the show may not reflect the actual method of payment; however, all recipients have been paid the sums of money mentioned by the millionaires in the show.”

But the lucky individuals who got some of Graves money will have to pay taxes on their gift. Still, we doubt they’re complaining about that.

“Recipients are responsible for paying taxes on contributions just as they are on any game show or reality show. If the recipients feel that the contribution jeopardizes any social benefits they might receive, the show gives them time to decline the gift or suggest an alternate means of distribution.”