Good-deed prank scores homeless man $1,000

This prank makes a homeless guy cry tears of happiness in a new kind of prank: a kind one. (CNN)

(CNN) – Usually, you think of pranks as being mean, funny or embarrassing.

But this prank makes a homeless guy cry tears of happiness in a new kind of prank: a kind one.

This is the story of a homeless man who got pranked with a losing lottery ticket.

But don’t worry. He’s still a winner. It is, indeed, a “good-deed prank.”

Rahat’s the prankster behind this one. Normally, he’s doing things like dressing up in a car seat costume so he can scare fast-food workers as the invisible driver.

But instead of a laugh, expect a tear when Rahat pranks a homeless man with a good reputation who’d been hanging around a Virginia shopping center.

“I don’t really have any money to give you, but I do have this winning lottery ticket,” said Rahat to the man.

“That’s cool, my friend,” said Eric, a homeless man.

They headed for a nearby deli to cash in the ticket, and the store clerk is in on it.

“Oh, my God,” said the clerk. “Guess what? You got $1,000.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” said Eric.

As the clerk counts out 10 hundred-dollar bills, the man stares at the cash — stunned into silence.

“I want to share it, my friend,” Eric tells Rahat, who won’t accept. “Aw, come on. That’s all yours, man.”

“I was really thrown off because I did not expect somebody to do that,” said Rahat later in an interview.

“I would like to share it with you, big guy,” said Eric.

When Rahat insists Eric keep all of the money, the camera mounted on Rahat’s sunglasses catches Eric’s eyes welling up.

And when they were done hugging, it wasn’t just Eric who had to wipe his eyes. Rahat was emotional.

“I never, never had friend, somebody, do what you just did back there. Never,” said Eric, talking to Rahat.

Eric was not aware Rahat was recording everything, but he now knows that there’s a video. What he still doesn’t know is that the lottery ticket wasn’t really a winner, either.

“I didn’t want to really ruin the moment of him winning the lottery ticket,” said Rahat. “I wanted him to capture that moment, that memory.”

Rahat says he’s going to break it to him soon. Though most think the video is touching, some have qualms.

One website headline read: “Good deeds on camera or exploiting people as props?”

“I’m not just going to give him $1,000 and just walk away and say, ‘Have a great day,’” responded Rahat.

Rahat’s set up a fundraising site for Eric. In less than a day, it totaled more than $6,000 and counting.

Eric didn’t win the lotto, but he did hit the jackpot. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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