I have to revise my remarks due to the fact that my info was old. I've heard now that the boy let the cat out of the bag on TV. I was only aware of what the initial news stories said. Therefore it appears that it was in fact a true hoax.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)