Drug Bust

Another Powerball-related fake news story claims one "lucky" winner was found dead with a kilo of cocaine.

Claim: One of the winners who shared the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot succumbed within days to a cocaine overdose.

FALSE

Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2016]

Is this true? Just saw on Facebook: Winner of 1.5B Powerball Jackpot Dies of Cocaine Overdose, Partying with Hoes

Origin:One of the multitude of news stories (exaggerated, fictional, and occasionally real) that hit social media in the wake of the record $1.5 billion Powerball lottery jackpot (shared by three winners) in mid-January 2016 was the tale of a putative California winner who supposedly took out a loan against his forthcoming lump sum lottery payment and quickly succumbed to a cocaine overdose while surrounded by prostitutes:

1 of the 3 $1.5B Powerball jackpot winners was found in his new multi-million dollar home dead of an accidental cocaine overdose.

32 Year-old James Hugston was 1 of the 3 lucky winners to hit the billion dollar jackpot. He received an estimated $327 million lump sum. Now most people are aware it takes 4-8 weeks to collect your money after you put in a claim. But Mr. Hugston couldn't wait and took out a loan from a money lender to start blowing his millions immediately. His first purchase was a multi-million dollar furnished home.

Rick Kingston a close friends of James said he was trying to keep his identity a secret and was doing it well by quickly moving out his 2 bedroom apartment where he lived with his girlfriend who he broke up with once he won.

At the multi-million dollar home where James Hugston was found dead over a kilo of cocaine was found close friend Rick Kingston said "James went crazy fast! First he bought this huge house then cocaine and invited over 10 hookers from backpage" a website know for prostitution.

There was nothing to this story, however: It was just another bit of fake news from TmzWorldstar.com, a site known for publishing fantastically fictional stories (cribbed from other fake news sites) such as a report of a man's marrying a baby and an article proclaiming that Jaden Smith was planning on undergoing a penectomy for his 18th birthday.

As of this writing, the California-based winner who will be sharing one-third of the record Powerball jackpot has not yet been publicly identified.

Last updated: 17 January 2016

Originally published: 17 January 2016

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