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Meme claiming to solve poverty with Powerball jackpot is flat-out wrong

Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet — no matter how much you want it to be true.

All over the U.S., people are buying tickets for Wednesday’s record-breaking Powerball $1.4 billion jackpot. In today’s political climate, a lot of people have to be thinking: With so many people struggling below the poverty line, how many people can that huge amount of money help?

On Monday, a meme on Facebook started going around that attempted to do the math.

At the time, the jackpot was at $1.3 billion. The creator of the meme took that sum, divided it by the estimated U.S. population (based on the 2014 census, 300 million), and ended up with the answer of $4.33 million.

Poverty solved. We can all go home on our yachts covered in gold coins, sipping on the finest champagne with Kanye West begging us to please join him and Kim at their winter retreat for Christmas. Marvelous.

Except, one problem: that math is actually completely wrong and the actual answer is about $4. We can all go to Starbucks and get a nice mocha latte. Maybe just a tall. No whip. Nothing fancy.

Despite the meme being obviously wrong, the picture was shared more than 900,000 times after musician Livesosa posted it on their Facebook page. While some caught on quickly (and found it funny), others were easily duped (and angry) about the meme’s trickery.

A Facebook meme claims the jackpot could solve poverty for everyone in America. Only one problem: the math is wrong.

No, splitting the Powerball among the US population would not make us millionaires

The concept is simple: If Powerball simply split the pot amongst the entire US population, poverty would be solved!

According to the meme’s math, $1.3 billion divided by 300 million people would provide everyone with $4.33 million.

Except, it really wouldn’t.

Everyone would get about $4.33.

The original meme seems to have originated from an Instagram account named Esteyban, as Buzzfeed notes. Though the quote is attributed to a person named Philipe Andolini, Tech Insider could not find any such person after a quick internet search. Judging by Esteyban’s other Instagrams, however, it’s likely a made-up person the self-labeled “meme-creator” chose for his meme.

The post has since been deleted and now Esteyban has been posting new memes with a self-deprecating twist:

A photo posted by Esteyban #BustStupidDopeMoves (@esteyban) on Jan 11, 2016 at 11:32am PST Jan 11, 2016 at 11:32am PST

Esteyban appears to be admitting the math mistake in the caption: ” Trying to solve poverty. While getting killed on social media. At least my $4.33 is a start. With everybody’s 2 cents I can buy a $5 pizza special and give it out. #kanyeshrug its a start [sic].”

The original meme was also reposted by musician Livesosa, who covered @Esteyban’s tag with his own Instagram handle (@Livesosa).

The caption — ” WOW. ‪ #‎ ShareThis‬ !” — was taken very seriously: Over one million people on Facebook have shared the meme.

Livesosa knew the math was incorrect. In a second Facebook post he said, ” Hope I gave the world a good chuckle this am! Stay positive my people.”

The next lottery drawing will happen on Wednesday, January 13, leaving plenty of time for the birth of more memes.

NOW WATCH: Here’s why memes are so much more than just funny internet photos – straight from the man who coined the term

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Kim is an entertainment correspondent for Insider. She’s best known as Insider’s resident \”Game of Thrones\” analyst, and is the author of the coming book \”The Unofficial Guide to Game of Thrones.\” Kim has moderated panels for the annual Con of Thrones fan convention and has made guest appearances on podcasts including \”Night’s Cast,\” \”Bald Move,\” and \”Game of Owns.\”

Kim also covers mind-bending Netflix series including \”Dark,\” \”The OA,\” and \”Stranger Things.\” Her expertise in pop culture extends to \”Westworld,\” \”Harry Potter,\” and Disney movies and theme parks. Kim graduated from Hunter College with a degree in cultural anthropology.

$1.3 billion divided by 300 million does not equal $4.3 million. ]]>