Have you claimed your share in the $34 million lottery win yet?

According to a tweet from March 5th, one Andrew Kuczynski has won $34,443,238.37 US in the Powerball lottery.

And anyone who sees that tweet can get their very own $1,000 share for just a follow and a retweet.

Announcing sharing a $34 million lottery win with total strangers

As I write this, he has received well over 130,000 retweets and, being true to his word, has already started the “arduous process of paying my followers“.

And how arduous a process it is!

A Little Math

Just two days after his initial announcement, he claims to have given away over half of the money, with his PayPal balance now being down to $16,041,238.37.

Only $16 million left…

That’s a difference of $18.402 million, or 18,402 give-aways of $1,000 each, that Kuczynski has transferred via PayPal in some 50 hours or so.

Which translates to around 6 transactions per minute 1 — if, that is, he had worked on this for 50 hours straight without breaks, without visits to the bathroom, without sleep.

Even if PayPal’s website had reasonable response times2, pumping out that many transactions in that time frame is somewhat unlikely, no?

Let’s assume, however, that Andrew does want to take the occasional break, does need to go the bathroom sometimes, and does want a few hours of sleep. Because, you know, he’s doing this purely as an altruistic move, right? He doesn’t have to put this much effort into it. Right?

Let’s cut that 24-hour day down to a 12-hour transaction-work day, then. That now gives Andrew some 5 seconds to perform each transaction. Talk about assembly-line work.

Not.

Likely.

Look a bit more closely…

For those who are still not convinced, there’s this detail from the “arduous process” tweet:

THISISNOTREAL, scream the recipients' names

Man is a gullible thing

Kuczynski has surely earned his 15 minutes of Internet fame for this nifty but harmless little stunt, which has earned him more than 44,500 followers so far.

I’m not sure, though, whether he will start having regrets once those 133,000 greedy, gullible nitwits come to realize that their $1,000 won’t show up in their accounts anytime soon.

The take-away? Same as it ever was: If it’s too good to be true, chances are it is.

And even more importantly: If common sense fails you every now and then, a few basic math skills can go a long way.


  1. 18402 transactions / (50 h * 60 min/h) = 6.134 transactions / min 

  2. Which, as every PayPal user knows, it doesn’t. 

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