- (Photo: Reuters)
False reports have surfaced that George Zimmerman won a $30 million lottery on Monday.
News sites were fooled earlier this week after The Onion, a popular satire newspaper, jokingly wrote an article about Zimmerman winning the Florida Lottery jackpot. The report claimed that Zimmerman had won over $37 million two days after he was found "not guilty" for second-degree murder.
"Just days after being fully acquitted for his role in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman reportedly won the $37 million Florida Lottery jackpot last night," the Onion report read on Monday.
The false report went on to pretend to quote Zimmerman and detail his plans over what he would do with the new cash:
"'Yeah! All right!' said a visibly smiling Zimmerman, holding the winning lottery ticket he purchased on a whim hours after he was found not guilty for shooting and killing the unarmed 17-year-old. '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.'"
The false report was taken seriously by some news organizations who failed to acknowledge that the source of the information was derived from The Onion. Those reports have since been taken down, but not before a Twitter frenzy broke out.
One tweet read: "George Zimmerman the luckiest person ever. Got away with murder and hit the lottery in the same week?" And in a second tweet: "How tf does George Zimmerman win the lottery right after he kills someone !!"
Multiple people questioned on Tuesday whether or not the information was true. Some were upset by the prank.
"It is terrible that this is being posted," one Internet user wrote in response to the large number of people who posted the false story on Facebook.