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Catfish or Powerball winner? Internet freaks out over skateboarder’s claim

Pro skateboarder Erik Bragg posted on Instagram Wednesday night claiming he won the lottery. (Photo: Screenshot)

People are freaking out over whether or not skateboarder Erik Bragg won a cut of the Powerball jackpot on social media.

Shortly after the numbers for the record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot were announced Wednesday night, Bragg posted a photo on Instagram claiming that he purchased the winning ticket in California.

A photo posted by Erik Bragg (@thisguysthelimit) on Jan 13, 2016 at 8:10pm PST

In the post, Bragg poses with a lottery ticket that has the winning numbers.

“OMG I WON $1.5 BILLION. I’m posting this in case anyone tries to jack me this is proof! Look it up, I bought in chino hills where I grew up! #powerball,” Bragg said. USA TODAY has reached out to Bragg for comment.

As of Thursday morning, the post had over 73,000 comments and almost 90,000 likes. The comments range from questions of what photoshop app Bragg used to congratulations and requests for free skateboards.

Here’s where the plot thickens.

Within an hour of posting the Instagram photo, a Twitter account purporting to be Bragg popped up on social media and other unverified accounts soon followed.

Twitter accounts with the handles @ErikBragg_lotto,@ThepowerballGuy and @DudeDupeer tweeted that anyone who followed or retweeted the account would get a small cut of the lottery winnings.

One of the accounts claiming to be Bragg tweeted, “No one needs all this money! I’ll give $1000 to every person who RTs this tweet! Must be following! #Powerball.” Another said, “Not selfish! Giving away 1,000 to everyone who retweets this and follows me within 24 hours! #Powerball#giveback.”

The tweet has almost 16,000 retweets.

Not selfish! Giving away 1,000 to everyone who retweets this and follows me within 24 hours! #Powerball#givebackpic.twitter.com/ZQnXN9RjLV

The overwhelming consensus on social media is that the accounts are fake, but A+ for effort!

I don’t know what’s more funnier #ErikBragg tricking the world or the group in Tampa who spent $175,000 on tickets 😭😭😭 #Powerball

if every fake erik bragg account pitched in a dollar we could get another $1.5 billion jackpot lmao #Powerball

folks, I won the lottery. That’s right it’s me. Erik Bragg from Chino Whatever, California. RT for 89 cents. God bless.

Another person tweeted that changing your Twitter handle to Erik Bragg could result in more followers. A win-win, obviously.

Why has everyone changed their Twitter names to ‘Erik Bragg’ saying they’ve won the lottery just to gain more followers haha

The catfish accounts appear to be using photos from Bragg’s public Instagram account. While Bragg has yet to confirm whether he is actually the winner or just the victim of yet another Internet catfish ring, one thing is certain, a winning ticket was purchased in Chino Hills, Calif., where Bragg grew up.

Winning Powerball tickets were also sold in Munford, Tenn. and Melbourne Beach, Fla.

People are freaking out over whether or not skateboarder Erik Bragg won a cut of the Powerball jackpot on social media.

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