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No, retweeting spam won’t get you any Powerball money

Saved you a click.


Hannah Withers

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 14, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:01 am CDT

If you’re like every other thinking American, you’ve spent the last few days contemplating what you’d do with $1.5 billion. After buying that castle in Monaco, shark-tooth-encrusted Jordans, and funding the hyperloop, you’d think about which charitable causes to throw that money at—if you’re especially generous, that is. I picture myself tossing gold coins at the homeless like some kind of philanthropic, modern-day Scrooge McDuck.

But if you’re a true web-entrepreneur like professional skateboarder Erik Bragg, you saw this day coming, and knew exactly how to make your lottery-propelled charity work for you. Because the only thing that makes you feel better than giving hundreds of thousands of dollars away to complete and total strangers over the Internet is doing so in exchange for Twitter followers—the true currency of our time.

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Don’t worry; the offer is obviously a hoax. Amid the many tweeted responses of gratitude (“You’re a kind person if this is real. 10,000 is a lot, even 500 dollars is nice.”)—and in time, some of dismay (“he might’ve really won but how’s he doing to deliver? and why use twitter as a method?”)—various curmudgeons made their voices heard, reminding everyone that “we got a scam here.”

For one, the Twitter account misspells Mr. Bragg’s name, adding a frilly extra “c” into the Erik mix. Secondly, the @bragg_erick twitter account has only existed for 11 hours. Lastly, as anyone on Twitter is all too aware, at least 1.5 billion fake Erik Bragg accounts have popped up since last night, all claiming to be the filmmaker slash skateboarder slash beard owner slash potential California lottery winner, all claiming to be ready to exchange thousands of dollars for a retweet. Like a regular person would.


So for now it looks like we’ll all have to go back to buying the store-brand shampoo, and the Braggs of the world will have to go back to getting Twitter followers the old fashioned way: with promises of hot local singles.

Photo via Steven Depolo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 14, 2016, 5:06 pm CST