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Thursday
Jan202011

Is It A Hoax? YouTube Sensation Gets $1 Million 

Photo Courtesy - You Tube(NEW YORK) -- Craig Rowin, a mild-mannered 27-year-old who has humored his friends for years, has become the latest Internet sensation by asking some of the richest Americans to "Give Me One Million Dollars."

Two months ago Rowin -- a comedian with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City – posted a plea for cash on YouTube. "Just give me a chunk," he implored, checking off names of some of the richest Americans.

On Thursday, in another video, he said he found a benefactor and has produced a notarized letter from that millionaire's lawyer.

Just because Rowin asked -- and for no particular reason.

Why does he want the money? "It would be awesome," said Rowin.

What will he do with the money? "I might go on a trip," he said.

Rowin said he received a phone call from the would-be philanthropist:

"Hi Craig, Benjamin, I was hoping to catch you in person," the caller said. "I want to talk about how to make you a millionaire."

Rowin has said he will reveal the man's last name when he collects the check at a Feb. 2 performance of the Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan.

The videos have already gotten 53,000 hits -- and climbing -- on YouTube.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," said Rowin, who had made a personal plea to Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffet and even the Chilean coalminers who he assumed had culled book deals.

"And if you are unable, sorry," he said, checking off the names of potential donors. "You guys are all heroes."

Rowin, who for full disclosure worked as a film editor for ABCNews.com, told us, "Today is crazy."

Media outlets -- from local newspapers to Canada -- were hounding the low-key comedian today for interviews.

He insists the videos are not stunts, but longtime friends say they can't be sure.

"It's ridiculous, it can't be true," said Terry Nicol, a 29-year-old engineer from Philadelphia who follows Rowin's comedy. "But I don't want to mess up anything for him."

Nicol said he had seen the YouTube video posted on Facebook Wednesday night, "but I woke up a Philadelphia sports blog and there it was. Then all the other Internet sites had stories with hundreds of comments. "

Nicol, who has followed the comedian's career since he was in an improv group at Connecticut Colleges, said Rowin is "one of the funniest people I know."

"He has a nonchalant humor and is pretty deadpan and always has a two-day growth of beard," he said. "He's also a really sweet guy. I am really happy for him that he has gotten so popular."

"It's not surprising it would eventually come to this," said the friend. "But what is going to be his punch line? I can't figure that out."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio