Fake News: $451 Million Lottery Winner Shane Missler NOT Giving Away $5,000 To Retweeters

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

A Twitter account purporting to be owned by Mega Millions winner Shane Missler put out a tweet saying the first 50,000 followers to retweet and like it would get $5,000. Missler won the $451 million jackpot on january 5th 2018 but opted for a lump sum payment of $281.2 million instead of payment in installments.

Unfortunately the tweet (archived here) is bogus:

The twitter account @Shane_Missler was only registered on January 15th 2018 while Shane's real account @TheShaneMissler was registered in February 2016. He already used it to put out a warning about fake accounts:

misslertweet.jpg

That didn't seem to stop many people from taking a chance anyway: at the moment of writing the fake tweet was approaching 10,000 retweets. Weirdly the number of likes was only at 7,700 so at least 2,300 people were apparently not even smart enough to follow the full instructions of a hoax tweet.

Updates:

  • 2018-01-16T17:47:16Z 2018-01-16T17:47:16Z
    It appears Twitter has disabled the account of the most popular version of the hoax and someone else took over the nickname. However new variations of the fake tweet are taking its place:
  • 2018-01-16T14:24:11Z 2018-01-16T14:24:11Z
    They keep coming:
  • 2018-01-16T14:23:50Z 2018-01-16T14:23:50Z
    And one more:
  • 2018-01-16T14:09:18Z 2018-01-16T14:09:18Z
    Here's another bogus tweet from a fake account:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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