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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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How our Barrow reporter became a 'millionaire' in the pursuit of research

I am a trainee reporter. My salary gets me by but this isn't a profession people go into for the money. And I generally don't attract women by casually waving my pay slips in their face.

Seeking Arrangement

Recently, however, I got the opportunity to know a different kind of lifestyle. A lifestyle I created for myself on the internet.

I became Charles Vandelay: American multi-millionaire, car-collector, yacht-owner, and – most importantly – Sugar Daddy.

While researching a story I signed up to a website called seekingarrangement.com, a place that connects young women from around the world with wealthy older men.

Most of the women are students looking for some help with their student loan. Others just want to be pampered and given the occasional bouquet of flowers.

A lot of them share something in common. When they see an American – turned Barrovian – who earns over £1,000,000 a year and has a net-worth of £100,000,000, it sparks their interest.

While donning the guise of Mr Vandelay and introducing his profile to the web, I was immediately bombarded with messages and winks from women all over the world: girls from as far afield as Las Vegas, Sydney and Huddersfield.

My phone was flashing constantly, alerting me to some new 'Sugar Baby' vying for my affection.

Within a week I had 58 messages sitting in my inbox, and just as many winks and favourites. I was a hit with women globally. Maybe I got a little carried away.

I eventually came to the tragic realisation that they were only interested in my wallet.

Then I came to the even more tragic realisation that it wasn't even my wallet they were interested in.

It was the fat Italian leather wallet of Charles Vandelay – business genius, wealthy tycoon, and international lothario.

I did not enter into any personal dialogue with these women. My desire was to research the lengths to which students will go to fund their studies. It was not to mislead.

My research done, my profile is closed. Charles Vandelay is no more.

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