With so much money at stake, some losing Powerball players are starting to speculate about some pretty crazy conspiracy theories.
When you have a game like Powerball that dangles a juicy jackpot of often millions of dollars, people get naturally enthusiastic about playing. But when players lose, often repeatedly, and the announcement comes out that the Powerball jackpot is rolling over to the next drawing, it has some scratching their heads. Is it possible that not a single person, out of thousands of players, managed to match the numbers several games in a row? Most understand that matching numbers is a game of chance. Others think there’s something more mysterious behind the rollover jackpots and the random nature of winners. As a result, there are several pretty crazy conspiracy theories emerging online. Here are four of the craziest ideas that a few Powerball players believe. Be prepared to venture down the rabbit hole.
Some conspiracy theories are centered around the idea that the federal government has a hand in Powerball. It’s not uncommon to see suggestions on Twitter about how unlikely it is that a jackpot goes without a winner for more than one game in a row. It must be because the government is using the funds to pay off national debts. And while some believe the IRS collects the rollover jackpots, others speculate the Federal Reserve uses those funds for stimulating the economy.
Apparently, the federal government isn’t the only entity meddling with the Powerball odds. Some conspiracy theories point to mafia ties. Some people believe that kingpins from around the country, and certain mafia-related families, control the odds and the numbers. They use the non-winning jackpots to pay off debts and select jackpot winners. And since more Americans buy into playing Powerball when the jackpots are massive, the funds almost instantaneously replenished upon spending.
The all-seeing eye followers, the FreeMasons, and high-society elitists are all common topics when conspiracy theorists talk about the Illuminati. The idea that this shadowy organization has a hand in controlling who wins the Powerball jackpot isn’t new. The enlightened, secret society of members are believed to control who wins in order to funnel funds back to the group and to select new members for initiation. One tweet even claims that winners are “crisis actors” posing as a front for the group. If the X-Files theme song isn’t playing in your head right now, it should be.
Some people believe that Powerball can easily be rigged and manipulated. Much like the plot of the John Travolta movie Lucky Numbers, where a local weatherman rigs the winning numbers, conspiracy theorists think anyone can pick the numbers and claim them to be random. In some online forums, people say the Powerball drawing appears to be live, but in fact, it is not. And there are actors involved. These folks aren’t clear about who they believe is behind the rigging, nor are there speculations about where the money actually goes. And when real-life stories about rigged machines, like the Edward Tipton fraud conviction, make these theories seem more plausible than others. In the Tipton case, the fraudster used software to create winning tickets.
Rest assured that none of these conspiracy theories actually have merit. But in almost any arena where millions of dollars are involved, there’s likely to be someone who suspects something more sinister. There are even more conspiracy theories out there that Powerball players wholeheartedly believe in, but these four seem to be the most prominent. The good news is Powerball is legitimately a random game, and everyone who plays has a chance to win big.