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Golden tickets to heaven? You know that’s too good to be true, even in Florida.
"Couple Arrested For Selling ‘Golden Tickets To Heaven," reads a headline on City World News.
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The story, in circulation since 2015, said Jacksonville residents Tito and Amanda Watts were selling wooden slabs spray-painted with gold paint on the street for $99.99.
"I don’t care what the police say," the story quoted Tito Watts as saying. "The tickets are solid gold… it ain’t cut up two by fours I spray painted gold."
The story even quoted an unnamed Jacksonville Police Department spokesman. It said the police confiscated over $10,000 in cash, five crack pipes and a baby alligator.
Just like tickets that reserve a spot in heaven, the story is a fabrication.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office found no records of such a case.
The story would have likely made headlines; but we found no coverage by local newspapers of the event, either.
The picture of Tito Watts isn’t real; it was snagged off a website with mugshots of people arrested in their Halloween costumes. The photo dates back to 2011.
We rate this statement Pants on Fire!
City World News, Couple Arrested For Selling "Golden Tickets To Heaven", accessed Sept. 13, 2018
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office public records request, submitted Sept. 14, 2018
Snopes, Was a Couple Arrested for Selling Golden Tickets to Heaven?, April 2, 2015
Daily Mail, Trick or treat! The bizarre police mugshots that gave cops a Halloween fright (and a few laughs too), Oct. 29, 2012
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