CGEL* lists these nouns as "number-transparent":
lots, bags, heaps, loads, oodles, stacks
According to CGEL, these nouns are number-transparent in that they allow "the number of the oblique to percolate up to determine the number of the whole NP."
I can see how lots can be number-transparent. For example, lots of people is treated as plural whereas lots of money as singular. I can't think of any exception to lots being number-transparent.
But are the other nouns really number-transparent as well? Here are counterexamples of each of these nouns:
Police officers walk in and out of the bank in what is supposedly a hostage situation, bags of money are exchanged, and corrupt politicians are brought to book without so much as a care about logic or believability. (News article 1)
From velvet chokers to oversized denim, heaps of the decade’s clothing have snuck their way back into my wardrobe, but nothing quite holds the nostalgic charm of concert apparel. (News article 2)
Bucket loads of money were poured into investigating and prosecuting crimes, while legal aid programs for impoverished defendants were starved. (News article 3)
The B.C. Liberals defend the practice on the grounds the donations are publicly disclosed. But the disclosure comes long after a donation has been made, and all they show is that oodles of money are given to the Liberals by resource companies and Vancouver-area real-estate developers – who based on the track record of donations must feel they are getting value for money. (News article 4)
The man also asked where the stacks of money were, and whether Fisher kept any gold, but Fisher had neither. (News article 5)
Are these all somehow mistakes on the part of the editors of these articles? Or these nouns are not really number-transparent, unlike lots?
*CGEL: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 350) by Huddleston, Rodney; Pullum, Geoffrey K.