Last week, the story of 26-year-old mom to be Natasha Hill went viral, appearing on sites from BuzzFeed to CNET to Today, and even earning an SNL spoof. The Los Angeles based Ms. Hill was supposedly chosen from a pool of 80 applicants to be paid $5,000 by the baby-naming site Baby Ballot for letting the Internet choose her child’s name. The list of names was supposed to be chosen by Belly Ballot and several advertisers, and the final names would be voted on in an online poll.
Now, Today reveals that the whole thing was actually just a big publicity hoax.
Natasha Hill is actually Natasha Lloyd, and she’s an actress who’s not even pregnant. Belly Ballot never reviewed applications, and explicitly hired Ms. Lloyd to pretend to be pregnant. ”We came up with the idea for the contest and we knew it would be controversial,” Ms. Moler told Today. “But we’re a start-up and we wanted to control the situation.”
In order to do so, they just made the whole thing up.
“We never thought it would get this big,” said Ms. Moler, who has apparently never visited the Internet before.