As of this writing, the Powerball lottery jackpot is sitting at around $1.4 billion. That"s an absolutely insane amount of money — as such, people have been talking about it nonstop for the past week.
You are watching: One billion divided by 300 million
Part of the reason that the Powerball conversation is everywhere is thanks to social media — if people aren"t talking about how much money is in the pot in person, they"re talking about it online.
Facebook in particular has been a hotbed of lottery talk, largely thanks to a single image posted to the Livesosa fan page.
If you haven"t seen it yet, the picture postulates that if someone were to win the jackpot at $1.3 billion, splitting the winnings evenly across the entire population of the United States (roughly 300 million people) would result in everyone getting $4.3 million.
Sounds great, right? Well before you put a payment down on that new house with the jacuzzi and tennis court, really examine the meme in question:
Let"s break this down. First and foremost, 1.3 billion divided by 300 million does notcome out to 4.3 million — it actually comes out to 4.33. As in, if the Powerball jackpot was split with everyone in the U.S., we"d all get less than $5 apiece.
Secondly, there aren"t 300 million people in the United States — the number is closer to 319 million. With those numbers, the winning total goes down even further to just $4.09 ... or about the same price as a few lotto tickets.
To be fair, the fact that the math is off isn"t the worst part about the whole thing — mistakes happen, math is hard and people always get a little carried away when it comes to free money. The real problem is that hundreds of thousands of people are taking bad information and sharing it without actually checking to see if it"s accurate — roughly 850,000 people (right now) have shared this version of the image alone.
At the very least, the admins over at Livesosa admitted that their math was a bit off:
Hope I gave the world a good chuckle this am! Stay positive my people. Pandora: Livesosa
Posted by Livesosaon Monday, January 11, 2016
Slip-up or not, there"s really no reason for something like this to go viral — there are calculators embedded into just about every single piece of tech we use these days.
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Of course, if someone wins and decides to share all that cash, we"d be fine with taking $4.3 million. Just saying ...