It was a story that had an unlikely concept: a new mother was willing to let complete strangers name her child via an online website competition. The winner would receive $5,000 and the baby a unique name. However, reports have discovered that the story is a complete hoax propagated by the company running the site.
Natasha Hill posted her photo on Belly Ballot, a website that allows friends and family to vote on their favorite names for a new baby. The story gained national attention by news outlets and Hill became an Internet sensation as people questioned her decision to let strangers pick her child's name.
"I think people will do the right thing and vote for something unique and nice," Hill told The Huffington Post.
"I just thought it was a really cool idea," Hill told NBC. "I found it when I was online looking for baby names on different websites. I think whatever name is chosen my child is going to be grateful that it didn't come from me."
Hill was reportedly chosen by the website to be its "model" because she needed the money to pay off credit cards and set up a college fund for her baby. That story was circulated throughout the nation and brought a lot of attention to Hill and the Belly Ballot website.
Unfortunately, one website noticed that there were holes in Hill's story. After a bit of research, the website LAist learned that Hill was actually an actress named Natasha Lloyd; her photo was found on the IMDB website. When confronted with the allegation, Belly Ballot's founder, Lacey Moler told "Today" that the story was false.
"We came up with the idea for the contest and we knew it would be controversial … But we're a startup and we wanted to control the situation," Moler said. "We never thought it would get this big. But after Hill was announced, so many real applications from moms came pouring in."