This California man duped the internet with his ‘winning’ Powerball ticket
Three lucky people won the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot in Wednesday’s drawing. Though they’ll have to split the pool, it still means taking home hundreds of millions in cash.
Naturally, everyone is eager to know the people behind the tickets. Powerball can tell where the winning ticket was sold from, but it’s up to the player to come forward.
One man, Erik Bragg, posted a photo on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit claiming he was holding the winning ticket in his hand.
But as far as everyone can tell — the ticket is a fake.
A photo posted by Erik Bragg (@thisguysthelimit) on Jan 13, 2016 at 8:10pm PST Jan 13, 2016 at 8:10pm PST
The caption reads: ” OMG I WON $1.5 BILLION. I’m posting this in case anyone tries to jack me this is proof! Look it up, I bought in chino hills where I grew up! #powerball”
The California Lottery did indeed tweet out a statement indicating the winning ticket was sold in Chino Hills, but that’s far from proof.
As Sage Lazzaro at the Observer noted, Erik Bragg is a notorious skateboarder and Instagram star. With his huge following on social media, it didn’t take long for the photo to spread. Bragg’s tweet about the alleged winning ticket told followers he would give away winning to everyone who retweeted the post.
I am not a selfish guy and I will be #GivingAway some of my winnings to every person who retweets this! #Powerball pic.twitter.com/hEaPIfuZ08
He was up to 102,000 retweets at the time this article was written.
The photo also made its way to Reddit, possibly posted by Bragg himself under the username ghostinthetv. There people began picking apart the photo, noting the signs it was fabricated.
First, the letters found on the left side read A through E. When you purchase multiple tickets at once, the different number sets are each placed on their own line, with a letter in front. Bragg’s ticket should have five lines of numbers if the letters A, B, C, D, and E are printed there.
Which brings us to the second point. If there were tickets purchased at $2 each, the total would read $10 — not just $2 as Bragg’s ticket shows.
There are also inconsistencies in the shapes of the numbers and blurred edges, making it seem like a poorly construction Photoshop job.
But you can’t fool the masses, especially when they’re expecting fake outs.
@ThisGuysThLimit might want to erase the ABCDE to just A on the side of the ticket next time El Crappo. #GivingAway photoshop advice
The identity of the real winners remains unknown. We know they purchased the tickets in California, Florida, and Tennessee. California residents can wait up to one year to claim their prize, and Florida and Tennessee natives have just 180 days. According to USA Mega, once the claim period expires the state will take back the winnings.
Lottery information is generally regarded as public domain in most states, so the winners identities will be revealed once they claim the prize. Don’t count on seeing Erik Bragg’s name among them.
People on Twitter and Reddit called him out for the clear tinkering with numbers.