The real winner of the Powerball lottery: a troll

By on January 16, 2016
Student Opinion

By Nick Amon–

Wednesday night, many were watching Powerball’s biggest lottery draw in history. Standing at a whopping $1.5 billion, it’s no wonder why this particular payout was at the forefront of many conversations over the past several weeks.  Three winning tickets were purchased across the country from Munford, Tennessee to Chino Hills, California. Regardless of the widespread disappointment for everyone else, some saw an opportunity that would keep the discussion going after the numbers were drawn.

Meet Erik Bragg, a filmmaker for the skateboarding company Plan B.  Bragg was raised in the suburb of Chino Hills and once he heard that a Powerball winner was hailed from his neck of town, Bragg decided to take to Instagram to tell everyone it was actually him.  What made this believable to his rumor induced followers on Instagram?  A photoshopped picture of Bragg holding up a fake lottery ticket with the winning numbers on the top, and the date of the draw, Jan. 13, on the bottom.

Some avid cynics across the internet knew from the get go this was a case of photoshop manipulation, but unfortunately for the rest of us, including myself, we were a bit too gullible to look any further into the matter beyond the Instagram post.  Amassing thousands of followers on his Instagram account after the post, the caption underneath Bragg’s picture went on to read: “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!”  Initially from the odd looks of the guy, I remember thinking to myself, “Maybe it’s true, he doesn’t look that smart of a guy to make a fake picture look so believable.”  Wrong.  He trolled me – along with countless Powerball conversationists across the country.

Turns out after a day or two rolled by many people actually began to realize his picture was fake due to the fact that several lines on his tickets were missing.  The humor behind all of this is that none of this was common knowledge before Bragg ended up skyrocketing his follower counts on all of his social media profiles.  But hey do I blame him?  Not at all.  To be honest besides getting a good laugh out of the situation, I can’t help but take my hat off to a guy who can fool half the country by posting a picture on Instagram.  That’s what you call an opportunist.


Bragg’s Instagram post / Retrieved from

About Nick Amon

Nick Amon is the Opinion Editor for The Louisville Cardinal, all views and opinions are of his own. If you have an opinion of your own that you'd like to see in The Cardinal, email him at [email protected]

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