TL;DR: On 12 March 2019, TRON founder Justin Sun offered to celebrate his success by “planning a $20m free cash airdrop. Good news-it’s coming, bad news-I may decide to give away more! First, I will randomly pick 1 winner for a #Tesla up until 3/27! To apply, follow me and RT this tweet! Simple!” An eventual winner was announced on 27 March 2019, and then deleted. A couple of enterprising sleuths are asking probing questions. SEE UPDATE at the article’s end.
Justin Sun Tesla Giveaway Winner Announced, Deleted
“So @justinsuntron did 88 draws using the Tesla giveaway tweet,” avatar John Galt, an analyst at crypto research outfit SharkCIA, noticed. “1st draw (from @Tronfoundation acct) was on March 26th at 12:44am. Winner from that draw was @kozmenko2017, a bot. Draws 2 – 88 were done anonymously but from ip hashes/time stamps were clearly the same person.” See image, below.
“The eventual winner […] strangely appears for a split second 0:33 into Justin’s draw vid, is @uzgaroth, who was the winner of draw # 57/88,” Galt claimed (image below). The video was subsequently removed.
Sun explained on 28 March 2019, “We shared a video of the selection process for transparency. Due to the large size of the video, Twitter wasn’t able to compress it properly resulting in a glitch. We will contact Twitter to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We apologize to the community for the mishap.” CoinSpice obtained Galt’s archive of the since-deleted video (see embed, below).
At the very least, it appears bots were chosen as winners. Sun has come under fire recently for allegedly padding his social media followers with fakes. “Yeah, when you buy followers & retweets it must make these drawings tough. @pennykoin1 looks like he might be the first non-bot chosen at #24 of 88,” Galt pointed out (see image, below).
Dutifully, @pennykoin1 appealed to Sun, and later revealed Galt, whom @pennykoin1 claims not to know personally, “DMed me out of the blue, outstanding citizenship.” The first non-bot account chosen, known as Jerry, appears as if he could use a Tesla. “Even if I sold it at 70% of the price,” @pennykoin1 ‘Jerry’ commented, “it would be twice what I make in disability a year.”
“Hard to say exactly what Justin’s trying to pull here,” Galt teased, “but it’s pretty clear he’s trying to pull something, amiright?” and he tagged Sun along with linking to the Tesla draw’s history on TWrench. Galt also screenshot the eventual announced winner from the taken-down video, and noticed the tweet starting the entire investigation has since been removed.
The odd set of anecdotes and alleged facts are heightened by the less than thrilled reaction from the announced winner, who, if not on the payroll of TRON is at the very least an avid fan of the project. Upon learning of having won a Tesla, the winner responded, “Wow! Amazing!!! Thank you.”
Fair enough, not everyone would have the same reaction at winning a coveted super car and having that fact announced on social media. Maybe @uzgaroth is overwhelmed with gratitude. Maybe he’s just not that “in” to Tesla. Whatever the case, the cryptosphere is beginning to notice the nexus of strangeness surrounding the giveaway, and computer scientist Emin Gün Sirer perhaps best summed up the situation, describing it as looking “irregular: the drawing seems to have been repeated 88 times, with the eventual winner’s name appearing in the video ahead of time.”
*****UPDATE: 29 March 2019******
Not too long after our published article, Sun took to social media to explain what happened. He avoided the issues above, and decided to draw, yet again, a winner for the coveted Tesla. The live stream showed him a bit on the sick side, and he picked what would be a third winner, different from @uzgaroth and @pennykoin1 (who was not announced). The super fan @uzgaroth protested, citing his 6 year old son’s disappointment, and appealed to Justin Sun directly. Sun then offered the man airfare for a conference, and an apology for the mixup. As outrage blew up yet again at snubbing @uzgaroth, Sun changed course yet again, and decided to give the new winner and @uzgaroth both a Tesla. Two Teslas and a giant amount of bad press.
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