At around 2 p.m., the calls started flooding Nolan Powers’ cell phone.
The 25-year-old was leaving his job as a contractor when he started receiving call after head-scratching call, asking for details about — of all things — boxes of Hot Pockets.
“It took me a few times to get it,” the Weymouth resident said. “Then I realized why people were calling.”
Turns out, Powers was the victim of a prank that was as simple as it was effective: A friend posted an ad to Craigslist saying that Powers had sold his (fictional) convenience store, and had “3,000 boxes of hot pockets and I just don’t want them to go to waste.” The ad implored those interested to call Powers, and listed his cell phone number.
“I don’t have 3,000 Hot Pockets,” Powers patiently explained to a Globe reporter. “I don’t have a convenience store either. I didn’t put up the ad; it’s false advertising.”
The ad, posted late Wednesday afternoon, quickly went viral: A user posted it to Reddit, where it floated toward the top of the Boston board, and Powers said he has received hundreds of phone calls in mere hours.
“Everybody that calls is so excited — every single person is like, ‘No way!’” Powers said. “I almost felt bad telling them I didn’t have them.”
Powers is certain that one of his friends put the ad up. So certain, in fact, he called his close buddies to try and figure out who did it.
So far, no one has owned up to it.
“I think it’s a funny prank — I think it’s one of the funniest things that I’ve seen,” Powers said. “In terms of a prank, I’ll give it a nine out of 10.”
However, the joke got Powers thinking: How much would it be to actually donate 3,000 boxes of Hot Pockets to those who need it most?
“I’m getting so many calls from people who need donations from charities, schools, and summer camps,” he said, adding that he’s called Hot Pocket headquarters to see if the company would be willing to donate some.
In the meantime, Powers said he and his girlfriend have tried to get in contact with Craigslist to take the ad down.
“I have hundreds of phone calls,” he said. “I kind of stopped answering. I didn’t really have the time.”
Still, it’s not like the prank has turned the guy off from the microwaveable food for good.
“I’m a Hot Pocket guy,” Powers said. “I’m going to definitely go and get one tomorrow.”
A look at some of the texts Powers received inquiring about the Hot Pockets:
A screenshot of the Craigslist ad: