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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone April 28, 2022

No, Elon Musk couldn’t give every American $1M with money he spent on Twitter.

If Your Time is short

  • The math is incorrect. Splitting $40 billion among 330 million Americans would give each person only $121.21.

  • The author of the original tweet acknowledged his “viral tweet about bad math.”

When Tesla owner Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion dollars, many social media users offered their thoughts on better ways the world’s richest man could have spent that money.

One Facebook post shared a screenshot of a tweet that read, "With 40 billion dollars, Elon Musk could have given each of the 330M people living in America a million dollars and still had $7B left over. Why aren't more people talking about this?"

"Just posting this because I know you all needed to be angrier," the Facebook post caption read.  "You’re welcome."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The merits of  Musk’s investments is a matter of opinion, but the math used in this post is way off. 

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Using the figures in the post, and a calculator, splitting $40 billion among 330 million Americans would mean each person would get $121.21. 

The author seems to be handling the error in good humor.

In his Twitter biography, he calls himself a "math guy that had a viral tweet about bad math." And after being called out on his error, he pinned the tweet to the top of his feed and also shared a previous fact check PolitiFact did of a similar claim from MSNBC about former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s expenditures on campaign ads.

Our ruling

A Facebook post shared a tweet that claimed Musk could have given every American $1 million and still had $7 billion left over with the money he spent to buy Twitter.

That math, however, doesn’t add up. With $40 billion, 330 million Americans would get about $121.21 each. This claim is False.

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No, Elon Musk couldn’t give every American $1M with money he spent on Twitter.

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