No. 2: Alabama Pi - 1998
A notable event in the early history of hoaxes involving the Internet was a fake news story that reported the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the mathematical value of pi from 3.14159 (and the infinite number of digits that follow) to a simple round 3 because that's what the Bible teaches.
The author was listed as April Holiday, who worked for the news service "The Associalized Press."
The story was written by a scientist named Mark Boslough as a parody of attacks on the teaching of evolution. He pitched it to the group New Mexicans for Science and Reason, which published it. Boslough quickly posted his confession that it was a hoax, but the story lived on. Forwarded versions began to appear online that deleted the fictitious writer and news organization.
Alabama lawmakers were deluged with complaints and forced to explain that they had not concocted a new pi recipe.
No. 1: The Left-Handed Whopper - 1998
To many customers, Burger King merely seemed to be taking its "Have it your way" slogan to new extremes as it unveiled a new Left-Handed Whopper, which claimed to finally get the condiments in the right place for America's lefties.
A full-page ad in USA Today trumpeted the culinary curiosity on April 1, 1998.
The restaurant reported that lots of left-handers -- and righties, BK noted gleefully -- swallowed the prank whole, eagerly lining up to get the correct burger. No doubt Burger King reveled in the sales boost and free publicity the prank generated later.
Perhaps harried lunch-rush customers merely couldn't be slowed long enough to consider that the fully rotatable round sandwiches had never really been a problem before. Would more of them have caught on if the chain had offered a side of french fries for the brown-eyed?