Every time the lottery gets big, Americans get swept up in lotto fever. And who can blame us? $1.5 BILLION was the big jackpot and there's a lot of good that some people could do with that kind of money.
However, be careful what you read online, not everything is true.
Case in point: Erik Bragg. Across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, accounts popped up that claimed if you liked, commented, favorited, shared, retweeted, and followed the account, he'd give you money! Free money? Who says no to that? The problem is, it appears to be just another big ole hoax.
It started on Instagram soon after it was announced that a winner was in Chino Hills, California. An account popped up that showed a picture of the locally-based skateboarding filmmaker apparently holding up a winning ticket with the lucky numbers of 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and 10. The account claimed "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"
Then the picture landed on Twitter with multiple accounts including @ThePowerballGuy. He promised to give away $1,000 to anyone who retweeted the picture and followed him within 24 hours.
By 1 p.m., it had 23,000 retweets and the account had 29,000 followers.
But here's the deal: the picture used on Instagram and Twitter looks photoshopped.
Let's say the Instagram account is his, which it appears to be. He's probably just having a little fun on the internet. Take a look at the ticket. Along the left hand side, the letters A, B, C, D and E are clearly visible. But there's only one row of numbers on his ticket. Take a look at our ticket below (we didn't win):
We've got five letters down the side and five rows of numbers. He's got five letters and one set of numbers.
Plus, if he would have bought five rows, the ticket would have cost him $10 instead of $2
Then there's the color of the ticket. Doesn't seem kinda off? It looks like there's two strips of white running underneath his numbers. Our's doesn't have that, but hey, this is Michigan and that's California, so maybe that's how they print them.
As for the Twitter accounts promising cash for retweets, there’s some bad news for those hoping to cash in on that pledge. This Twitter account under the name @DrErikBragg appears to be the one most likely to be legitimate and at time of writing it had no mention of Bragg’s Powerball ‘win’. That account is far older than any of the others claiming to be him