According to the satire site, Zimmerman won the $37 million Florida Lottery jackpot on Monday. The Examiner was one site who initially believed the article, running an article titled, “Report: George Zimmerman wins $35 million jackpot in Florida Lottery.”
However, the site has since taken down the article. Other sites, such as The Epoch Times and Social News Daily immediately recognized the George Zimmerman lottery article as a hoax.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin Saturday night. He was in hiding before the trial and will likely remain in hiding after, as there have been several threats on his life.
That fact alone should have helped internet users realize the George Zimmerman winning the lottery article was a hoax (if they didn’t already understand The Onion’s satire).
However, along with news sites, Twitter and Facebook users appeared to believe the hoax, with some commenting that Zimmerman deserved his lottery winnings, while most said he didn’t.
The article announced that Zimmerman purchased the ticket hours after he was found not guilty. It adds that the 29-year-old apparently explained, “I just figured why not, you know? I think I’ll probably use the money to buy a bigger house and a new car, and I’ll invest the rest. This is just fantastic. Life is good.”
While Zimmerman probably does feel relieved about the outcome of the trial, it’s unlikely he will purchase a lottery ticket anytime soon. Thankfully for The Examiner and others, they are not the first to be duped by an Onion article. The hoax even prompted popular de-bunking site Snopes to post an article about the situation.
Were you duped by The Onion’s article claiming George Zimmerman won the lottery?