A meme circulating on social media claims that the $1.3 billion powerball could be shared with the U.S. population and end poverty.
The meme, which has had most its most sharing on Facebook (with over 800,000 shares as of this writing) claims that the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot, if divided evenly among the entire U.S. population, would amount to $4.33 million per person.
It appears that the majority of users shared the meme before double-checking the math included.
If we divide $1.3 billion by 300 million, the result is $4.33 – so it appears that a few zeroes may have been omitted by whomever performed the math for the meme.
The current U.S. population is actually closer to 323 million, which makes the shared winnings dwindle to about $4.02.
Some users have attempted to save face for sharing the meme by claiming it was done sarcastically.
Below is a quick video by Good Morning America addressing the meme.
“One problem with that idea,” the video states, “math! We’d all get about $4 apiece, not $4 million.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 12, 2016
If you really wanted to bump up the number, you could divide the winnings by household, of which there are a little over 115 million. That would net each family about $11.
Lottery sharing hoaxes are not new. In recent years, a man named Sokhavy Hilton fooled social media twice by claiming he would share his winnings with people who followed him online. He had merely altered a photo to make it appear that he had won the lottery.
The meme is false which suggests that every American would get $4.33 million if the Powerball jackpot were divided equally. The amount would actually be about $4.