About That Time I Won Powerball … on Twitter

Powerball’s $1.5 billion jackpot brought out the very best in this world — and my ability to be a hilariously dickish, deadpan prankster with a knack for Photoshop.

I decided a few hours before the Powerball drawing Wednesday night that I was going to make social media believe I’d just hit the big one. So I took a selfie — sounds gross now that I read it back to myself — with the ticket I actually bought. I thought it would be very important for me to actually be holding the ticket with at least part of my face in it. Gotta sell believability, and boy, my face is believable (among other things)!

I loaded the photo into my computer and dialed it up in Photoshop. I saw that it was going to work perfectly, since A) the flash on the camera washed out most of the background color on my ticket, and B) I had eight of the 10 possible digits on my card (and, of course, you can just flip a six upside down to make a nine).

I transcribed the numbers as that way-overdressed dude in Florida — why in the hell does he need to be wearing a tuxedo to read a few balls? — gave me six numbers that, of course, were not on my ticket. Not important. I typed those babies into Notepad, ordered them and got to work.

Speed was key. If I waited even an hour, it would have lost its potential oomph.

I originally planned on posting it with a bunch of exclamation points — I imagine if I’d actually won, I’d have no real words (and certainly wouldn’t be posting to social media) — just to Facebook to dupe friends. I decided to open it up to Twitter as a social experiment (read: late-night self-amusement). That turned out to be a good decision.

I don’t remember who Retweeter Zero was, but God bless him or her. Here are some of my favorite tweets that came in shortly afterwards.

I gained many cousins of different races.

(Not really clear on the whole “peanut daughter” thing.)

That’s some damned good tan retention by this white guy, yeah? Anyway, props to this guy for not settling with the cousin bit.

This is a good time to say that I had to whip out Urban Dictionary a few times during this whole charade. Turns out “wybo” is (or at least was in 2008) “an exuberant and strident indication of excitement or joy.” Wybo, indeed.

I also had more interest from ladies than I have for basically my entire life.

… and interest from a non-lady.

I had a lot of folks who really wanted me to turn on my geotag so they could see where I live. (In my Twitter bio, I make no bones about the fact that I’m from Beacon Falls, Conn.)

I saw numerous robbery and criminal references, some of which have been deleted by kids who probably realized they shouldn’t joke about that these days.

(That was one of the tweets that got a hearty laugh out of me.)

This brings us to my second visit to Urban Dictionary. “Finna” is an “abbreviation of ‘fixing to.’ Normally means ‘going to.’” That’s pretty much what I figured.

Moving on … two different ladies offered their bank account numbers to me.

I did not take up either on their offers.

Anyway, this guy was really mad that I could have won $1.5 billion without any real effort.

This guy isn’t really sure how Powerball works.

These ladies were saying something.

OK, back to Urban Dictionary! I had to check to see if “big head” meant anything in particular, or if they just thought my head was big because of the close-up. It seems more like they think I was full of myself because I allegedly won. Oh well. I did, though, find out that “wyd” simply means “what you doing?

I decided to turn off my direct messages for people I wasn’t following because it looked as though it might have gotten wild. (In hindsight, I wish I’d left them on. That would have been thoroughly memorable.)

Anyway, before I flipped that switch, this gentleman slid in.


Some very nice folks lent me their advice on how to proceed with life.

My name would have been all over the place, I tell you.

All of that mostly happened within the first half-hour or so. I pretty quickly realized that I was going to have to call off the dogs a lot earlier than I’d planned. Actually, things didn’t go over on Facebook as well as I thought they might. All the gullible old people were already sleeping; a lot of the younger folks know my penchant for shenanigans. I got a few, but Twitter was the gold mine.

Still, I came clean.

Some people responded with the equivalent of “say it ain’t so!”

This fellow was not happy at all.

(I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure by “FUCKS” he means “white guys who know how to use Photoshop.”)

Once nice girl saw people starting to call me names in anger over their wool-covered eyes and came to cheer me up.

A few folks were so impressed by my Photoshopping that they’d like to use my services (though I’m not sure either realizes what’s happening).

Some news reporter out in Oklahoma City got in on the game.

One fellow was very conflicted on his race relations.

This all brings me to my new friend Austin Calhoun, who experienced a true roller coaster of emotions as this all played out in front of him.

Thanks, Austin. Go ‘Dawgs.

Finally, here are just some funny things I saw (and tweeted myself).

Thank you, YouKnowNothnNickey.

This should be a fun next few days while my phone buzzes off the hook. People will retweet anything, you know.


What do you think?