Powerball math mistake fires up the Internet

Image: Mind boggled
Powerball math can be mind-boggling. (Credit: @Esteyban)

The math behind this week’s upcoming $1.4 billion Powerball drawing boggles the mind, but at least a few minds were boggled beyond the bounds of arithmetic.

One photo posted to Facebook and Instagram claimed falsely that if the Powerball pot – which was $1.3 billion at the time – were divvied up among the United States’ 300 million residents, each one would get $4.33 million. “Poverty Solved!!” the blackboard graphic read.

The photo earned more than 580,000 Facebook likes and more than a million shares. Only problem is, the math is wrong. The payoff per person would actually be $4.33, or a little more than my winnings in Saturday’s $900 million Powerball drawing.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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