TIME Internet

More Than 800,000 People Shared This Mathematically Inept Powerball Post

The numbers just don't add up

The Powerball lottery jackpot is expected to grow to a record $1.4 billion by the next drawing on Wednesday night. When that estimate grew to $1.3 billion, a lottery meme began circulating on social media claiming that if the jackpot were divided evenly among all Americans, poverty would become nonexistent.

So what’s the problem? Well, the math is completely wrong.

The meme states that $1.3 billion divided among 300 million people would come out to $4.33 million per person. In reality, it would only equal about $4.33 per person. Gizmodo also points out that the population of the United States is closer to 319 million, meaning that everyone would actually only receive around $4.09. And of course, all of those figures don’t even take into account the fact that the payout will be significantly reduced by taxes.

Read More: Here’s a Guaranteed Way to Win the Powerball Jackpot

The Facebook post currently has more than 400,000 likes and 813,000 shares, and has even inspired several counter-memes.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team