After misidentifying Alexander Hamilton as one of the nation's "greatest presidents," a Groupon spokesman now says the company was in on the joke all along.
"We were just looking for a way to make President's Day a little less boring," company spokesman Bill Roberts said in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.
The company's statement regarding the Hamilton promotion was earlier reported by Mashable.
On Friday, the coupon company announced a Presidents Day promotion that offered a holiday weekend discount of $10 off a $40 purchase.
"The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton — undeniably one of our greatest presidents," a release from the company explained.
The problem, of course, is Hamilton not only wasn't a great president; he was never president at all.
In his e-mailed statement, though, Roberts says the promotion wasn't a mistake but part of an intentional effort to spark reaction.
"We started with the understanding that there's nothing people like more that pointing out that someone else is wrong. In fact, they like it so much they don't really stop to think about whether it was on purpose.
"But we were pleased some of the more savvy followers enjoyed the joke," the e-mail continued, saying also that the reaction was "pretty much in line with what we expected."
Groupon's promotion sparked buzz on Twitter and a number of news reports about the company and its misread of American history.
According to the company, that was the plan all along.