Kansas City anchor can’t add, makes epic fail with Powerball math

When it comes to lottery mathematics, we can chalk up a big fat fail for both the Internet as a whole and a Kansas City anchor.


Earlier this week, Facebook was overrun with a meme claiming that if the Powerball jackpot was split between every U.S. resident, each person would get $4.33 million — an epic fail of understanding place value.

Meanwhile, KCTV-TV anchor Ellen McNamara was trying to claim that this week’s estimated $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot was larger than the three next largest lotto winnings. She even had a fancy graphic that she could point to.

The problem? The math was off by a few hundred million bucks.

$590.5 million plus $587.5 plus $564.1 million actually equals $1.7421 billion dollars, which is some $242.1 million dollars MORE than $1.5 billion.

We’re guessing that what happened is someone looked at the three figures, saw (erroneously) that they were relatively close to $500 million each and multiplied that by three — which would equal $1.5 billion.

The problem with that, of course, is that each of the dollar values were much higher than just $500 million (and, in the case of $590.5, closer to $600 million), so the rounding, as any elementary school student could tell you, kind of gets thrown off…


H/T Eric and FTVLive

Sign up for NewscastStudio's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest broadcast industry news to your inbox including new debuts, case studies, thought leadership and broadcast gear updates.