Another Instagrammer, using the name “adamthagod,” promised to split his winnings with girls who DMed him. But an analysis of the photo’s compression data suggests that it’s either a screenshot or was saved from another location. And while the Instagrammer claims to live in Chino, Calif., his Soundcloud and Facebook pages identify him as the Toronto-based rapper Adam Raine. (Canadians are eligible to play Powerball, but it’s unclear whether they could actually collect their winnings.)
Meanwhile, on Twitter, some fakers didn’t even bother to pretend they came from California, Florida or Tennessee, the three states where the winning tickets were sold: One guy with an Ohio ticket promised $1,500 to each of the first 2,000 people who retweeted it (he’s got a way to go, with only 450 RTs), and a player in Texas invited followers to “HMU,” or hit me up, if they wanted $1 million. (His thumb is conveniently covering the date of the ticket.) Another man, also in Ohio, promised $100,000 to every person who RTed or “favorited” his ticket, whose numbers are mysteriously out of order.
This is, in other words, a very classic iteration of the Facebook giveaway scam, which promises riches to those gullible souls who repost a shady message.
How can you avoid getting taken in? Well, the winning tickets, if and when they are posted online, will come from California, Florida or Tennessee. They will be dated on or before Jan. 13, the numbers will be ordered progressively, and they will look similar to these.
That said, savvy lotto winners — if such people exist — won’t post online at all: One of the best moves lotto winners can make, financially, is to stay anonymous and avoid the rush for handouts.