The phrase “don’t believe everything you read” has taken on new meaning since the internet was invented. That does hold true for a lot of things, but many people fall victim to numerous hoaxes and other such falsehoods because they don’t take the time to read or simply understand the reality. A new meme that has gone viral says that the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot could solve poverty in the United States, but the creators of it simply don’t know how to do the math.
After there was no winner in the Powerball drawing from this past Saturday, the record-breaking jackpot is expected to hit $1.3 billion, according to USA Today. Tickets will keep selling before Wednesday night’s drawing, and people will keep trying to have their one in 292.2 million chance of winning it all.
That huge amount is something that has gotten a lot of people thinking but not very clearly. A meme is making the rounds, and it’s one that is getting shared left and right without thought.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Who wouldn’t want to get their $4.33 million part of the pot? It makes sense to just pass out that money to the entire country and simply let America climb out of poverty. Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple and, 94.3 The Point brings that to everyone’s attention.
Taking the numbers into thought, that math isn’t exactly correct. You don’t even need to go into deep thought to understand. Just enough thought to use a calculator.
For starters, 1.3 billion written out is 1,300,000,000 and 300 million written out is 300,000,000. That part is easy. Next up is the math portion of things, where you divide 1.3 billion by 300 million and Philipe Andolini, whomever that may be, did that. Right?
No, not exactly.
1,300,000,000 / 300,000,000 = 4.33
If the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot was simply divided up and handed out to the estimated 300 million population of the United States, everyone wouldn’t get $4.33 million. No, everyone would get $4.33 with maybe an extra cent to spare if they’re lucky.
Needless to say, but some people are getting this and already throwing out memes of their own as seen throughout the thread devoted to the topic at IGN.
Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are great for many things, but they are also notorious for sharing information that is incredibly inaccurate. People have their eyes caught by something, and before taking a slight moment to realistically think about it, they are sharing it and believing in it.
From that point on, it’s a rinse-and-repeat situation as many others simply follow along.
Just in the past month alone, there have been numerous Facebook hoaxes that were passed around, and people just took to them with everything they had in them. The biggest was obviously the one where people thought Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was going to give away millions of dollars because someone copy and pasted a status.
That just wasn’t going to happen, and it didn’t happen. Even when people were advised it was a hoax, the usual response was “Oh, I know it’s not true, but it can never hurt to try.”
After that, there was the “badly burned” dog who simply had a piece of ham placed on his face. During 2015, the Facebook privacy hoax raised its ugly head again, where people thought copying and pasting a status would protect their privacy.
Now, the huge $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot won’t be paid out in that amount due to taxes and other such things, but the winner(s) will still be exceedingly rich. Even if the jackpot was to be paid in that full amount, splitting it up among the population of the United States would not nab you millions.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]