Read about the amazing contests, competitions and opportunities announced on April Fools' Day with such lucrative prospects and unique ideas that people could hardly restrain themselves from availing these schemes at the opportune time.
- Thought you were clever enough to do anything. Here was this amazing contest in 1984, in which the Eldorado Daily Journal based in Illinois announced that the contestants would require to save the most daylight during the period of specified days in any jar or container of their choice. Light from cloudy days was allowed while light of the dawn and twilight light were not allowed. Saving moonlight was strictly forbidden. The contest sparked a huge interest nationwide and received quite an attention from the media including CBS and NBC.
- In April, a Dutch financial website known as iex.nl announced about the IPO of a company known as F/rite Air (pun on Fried Air or Hot Air), which was a new technology company backed up by big guns such Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and George Soros. The shares could be reserved for $18 each by email and were anticipated to soar up to above $80 on the very first day of its filing by the analysts. Investors swarmed in to buy the shares and orders worth over $7 million flooded in. Later the newspapers revealed all of it to be an elaborate April Fool's Day joke but even this could not put a stop on the people calling in to buy the shares.
- Esquire's April 2000 issue had a detailed article by Ted Fishman about a new company called Freewheelz that would provide drivers with free minivans if they accept its many terms and conditions. The people who received the cars would have to place large advertisements outside their vehicle, agree to the streaming of advertisements on the radio in their cars, would have to drive it over 300 miles a week, complete a 600-question survey included probing questions such as their political affiliations and their concern about hair loss and had to submit their family's tax returns, notarized video-store-rental receipts and even a stool sample! Thousands of reader enquired about how to avail the opportunity and CEOs of a number of real Internet companies with similar business plans such as Freecar.com and Autowraps.com were also taken in and were quite shocked by this sudden competition.
- On 1st of April 1998, WQSR aired an announcement in the morning that at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Constellation Restoration Committee has dug up a box of gold and has decided to spend some of it on the repairs of the old vessel and distribute rest of it to the residents of Maryland. The only paper that was required to gain a free gold coin was a valid Maryland driver's license. Lots of people drove for miles and paid for the parking at the harbor only to know that there is no such committee for over twenty years.
- In 2000, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) threatened that they would release tranquilizers into Lake Palestine before the bass fishing tournament in East Texas to save them from being hooked. The newspapers reported the threat and state officials took it seriously. Eventually, PETA admitted that it was just a hoax.
- London Times, in 1972, reported that Thomas Cook was celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first round-the-world travel tour in 1872 by offering the first 1000 customers, the chance to buy a similar package deal at 1872 prices, i.e., just 210 guineas or US$ 575. The applications had to be addressed to 'Miss Avril Foley.' The responses were almost instantaneous and the thousands of people waited in line for hours at Thomas Cook's office. The astronomical number of calls flooded in to the travel agent. Later, when the Times admitted it to be an April Fool's joke, a mass hysteria broke out. The reporter John Carter, the writer of the article, had to be fired. He was later reinstated.