NY police say Robert Brandel faked his own kidnapping to avoid paying off a Super Bowl squares game he was running after his attempt to rig the game failed.

The Super Bowl has led to a lot of strange things over the years, but “A 60-year-old New York man who claimed he was kidnapped and held for three days in order to avoid paying out bets he took on the Super Bowl” feels like a new one. Here’s more on that from Ala Errebhi of ABC affiliate WKBW Buffalo:

State police arrested 60-year-old Robert Brandel, Wednesday, after they said he faked his own abduction to avoid payment on Super Bowl squares.

“This guy ran a football pool, a $50,000 payout football pool. [He] came up with a couple different ways where he could make money off of it and eventually fell flat. And now he can’t make the money up to the people who obviously or eventually won this football pool,” said Trooper James O’Callaghan with the New York State Police.

Police said Brandel claimed he picked up two men Monday that had bought Super Bowl squares from him. But Brandel said the men then kidnapped him with a gun and took $16,000 in cash from Super Bowl squares.

Here’s the WKBW video report:

As per that, Brandel initially told the police that the men in question drove him around for two days, then left him in a Tops (grocery store) parking lot. That’s where police found him, sitting in the back seat of his Ford 150 with his hands and ankles duct-taped together and a rope tied around his neck. But O’Callaghan told Errebhi the story didn’t add up:

“We’re on the third day when we find him, but he’s pretty clean shaved around his beard,” he said. “A normal person that’s abducted and has gone through something like that, their heart rate would be very high, they’re very worried, depressed, a lot of emotions that will be bubbling up.”

He might have gotten away with it, too, if not for that meddling razor! But yeah, as per the police, the contest was rigged from the start, with Brandel making up fake names for a bunch of the squares to try and win himself. Except he didn’t even rig it properly and couldn’t pay up, so he came up with this wild scheme. And now he’s due in court on charges of falsely reporting an incident and fraud. Life comes at you fast.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.