No, Jeffrey Epstein did not win $25-million from an Oklahoma lottery ticket… or did he?!

Over the weekend, some dude published a Medium article titled “Jeffrey Epstein won the Oklahoma Powerball lottery, July 2, 2008.” The article received a lot of shares and traction online, but eventually was removed for violating the Medium terms of service.

This isn’t the first time the accusation has made its way through the Internet conspiracy mill. In July, Bloomberg tried it’s best to refute the story:

Did Epstein win the Powerball lottery while he was in prison?

It’s not a completely crazy question. In August 2008, shortly after Epstein began his 13-month prison sentence in Florida, an entity called the Zorro Trust submitted the winning ticket for an $85 million jackpot. The ticket had been bought at a convenience store in Altus, Oklahoma. (The trust took the money as a lump sum, which came to $29.3 million after taxes.)

As it happens, Epstein had an entity called the Zorro Trust; he used it to make donations to politicians in New Mexico, where he had a ranch called — yep — the Zorro Ranch. (A federal prosecutor in New Mexico has begun an investigation into whether Epstein abused underage girls at his ranch.)

A few years ago, a lawyer representing some alleged victims took the prospect of Epstein winning the lottery seriously enough that he brought it up during a deposition with Epstein’s former pilot.

But the Oklahoma City newspaper, the Oklahoman, did a little more digging and discovered that the anonymous winner worked in a grocery store across the street from the convenience store where the winning ticket was sold. Apparently, she decided to use the same name for her trust as Epstein did for his.

Not everything’s a mystery. Sometimes, it’s just a coincidence.

Yep, there’s nothing to see here. The Oklahoman – a conservative newspaper that has always had a soft spot for global elites –learned that the anonymous lottery winner just happened to work in a grocery store across the street. Here’s a snippet from the article:

Source says winner worked at grocery store

The winner is a woman who worked evenings at United Supermarket in Altus, the store’s meat department manager confirmed.

Larry Cox declined to provide his former co-worker’s name, saying the woman had requested anonymity.

“But if you had to pick someone in town to win it, she’d be in the one I’d pick,” Cox said.

“It was just meant to be, I guess,” he said.

The grocery store, at 600 E Broadway, is less than a block from the Stripe’s convenience store that sold the winning ticket.

Hmmn. So the source for the article was the manager of a grocery store meat department with the last name Cox? That seems reliable enough. As we all know, it’s virtually impossible for writers to make up sources, so I guess Bloomberg is right – sometimes, it’s just a coincidence.

Or is it.

For giggles, I decided to see what the reporter of the article – Tony Thornton – was up to. From his LinkedIn profile, I learned that just a few months after the lottery story was published in The Oklahoman, he accepted a job with a big energy company:

Devon Energy, as well all know, is an NYSE-traded energy company that uses massive loads of cash, debt and complex accounting methods to fund drilling operations all over the world. The company, which was co-founded by local oligarch Larry Nichols, has been a player in the global natural gas industry since the 1970s, around the same time another Oklahoma-born oligarch – Robert (Bob) Hefner III – became one of the world’s most successful natural gas drillers.

Why does that matter? Bob Hefner III’s name just so happens to appear in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book that was leaked online a few years ago:

This would also probably be a good time to point out that Bob Hefner III, Larry Nichols and The Oklahoman’s former owners – The Gaylord Family – all go way back. In fact, check out this 1989 Oklahoman article from the paper’s society pages. It documents the time Bob Hefner brought his wife Lorna to Oklahoma City to meet all his Nichols Hills buddies. Guess who was there?

Isn’t that nice? Polly Nichols is the wife of Devon Energy founder Larry Nichols, and Christy Everest, in case you forgot, would eventually become publisher of The Oklahoman! How interesting is it that Tony Thornton – the guy who reported that a sweet little grocery store employee won the lottery using a trust name that was frequently used Epstein – would eventually end up working for people who were closely associated with Bob Hefner, who, once again, had his name and phone number appear in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book? I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence.

Actually, I am pretty sure this is all a coincidence. The point of this article is to show how easy it is to take random information from the Internet and then piece it together to fit some sort of conspiratal narrative. Hopefully we get a lot of pageviews out of it before Devon’s lawyers ask us to take it down!

Anyway, if you have any inside information about who really won the lottery in 2008, or can uncover any connection between Zorro Trust and Zorro’s Tacos – an old southside taco stand that had the budget to buy ads in The Oklahoman – let us know in the comments:

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14 Responses


  1. I wonder of the New York Times has a soft spot for ‘Global Elites?’


    1. Seeing as how the Oklahoma media was Exhibit A in covering up the Alfred P Murrah Biuilding truck bomb and McVey affair? I’d say they could be depended on to tow the line. Jackpot this size? How many Zorro Trust companies were in US at that time? Best guess is ONE. Epsteins.


  2. Good digging, Patrick!

    Fun facts: Christy Everest is Christy Gaylord Everest, daughter of Edward L. Gaylord. Clay Bennett is also married to an E.L. Gaylord daughter.

    The most interesting verifiable fact in this tangled web is Bob Hefner III’s four phone numbers in Epstein’s little black book. That’s something The Oklahoman will stay far, far away from!

    Sometimes conspiracy theories wind up pointing to something actually worth investigating. Sometimes coincidences are more than coincidences. Could this be one of those times?


    1. Yeah. I’d have expected that other Hefner guy’s numbers to be in Epstein’s black book.


  3. Bob Hefner. Lake Hefner. What do I use to fish there? Bobbers! Now Epstein. This all explains why I can’t catch a damn bass there.


  4. You might Ck. Out the flight logs of the Lolita express to and from little St. John Island these are real facts. County folks have known about Epstein for years, they were dismissed as fools, but they were right and the corrupt media has been exposed again and again.


  5. What? The Oklahoman actually did some digging?


    1. Patrick did a lot more.


  6. Uhh. I don’t really get this. The lady who won that really did work at the United grocery store across the street from the Stripes…where she bought the ticket. It was the same place I bought my tickets (so I remember it vividly).
    The guy in the meat dept. really is named Cox. Everybody knew who she (the lotto winner) was and she …amazingly..still lives around there. She built a giant log cabin looking mansion up near a local lake.
    Is that reporter saying that she really didn’t win it based solely on the fact that she picked the same name for her trust that Epstein used for his?
    Did he get paid actual money to write that up and publish it? Because that would be a real mystery right there?


    1. jackpot this size and the name not announced. sounds like a recipe for SWINDLE.
      ‘Everyone knows her”- tell us then- WHATS HER NAME?


  7. Wait a minute…..Finkle is Einhorn…….Einhorn is Finkle. EINHORN IS FINKLE!?!?!


  8. Love the Bill Clinton portrait on the wall a Jeffrey’s New York abode, the blue dress is stunning.


  9. Lets talk about coincidence! Shall we?

    On April 17, 2013 a fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas exploded. A ton of people were killed and inured.

    Coincidences:

    1.) Timothy McVeigh used a fertilizer bomb in the Oklahoma city bombing (OKC bombing). Coincidence = Fertilizer bomb, fertilizer plant.
    2.) The OKC bombing was retaliation for FBI killing Branch Davidians. Coincidence = Occurred exactly 20 years (- 2 days) prior.
    3.) The FBI’s attack on Branch Davidians was called “Waco Siege”. Coincidence = Waco TX, Waco TX.
    4.) The OKC bombing occurred exactly 2 years after the Waco Siege. Coincidence = Length of time before and after retaliation was 2 years, length of time before and after Plant explosion was 20 years.
    5.) The formula for the retaliation was: original date +2 years. Coincidence = Plant explosion was +20 years +2 days.

    What do you think? Was the Fertilizer Plant explosion an accident or was it intentional?

    (don’t read any further until you make a decision).

    It turns out that it was first reported as an accidental fire, before being ruled “cause undetermined”.

    I remember being the only one on the internet pointing that the fire was intentional, based on the coincidences.

    I remember being so frustrated at people for not being able to see the truth. But then the ruling “cause undetermined” put everything to rest and there was no reason to talk about it anymore.

    Just kidding. Over 3 years after the Waco Fertilizer Plant explosion, the feds quietly changed the cause to “intentional fire”. They did not find out who set it.

    Everyone still thinks this was an accident because no one even suspected it might have been another terrorist attack, in spite all the coincidences. You just learned a major terrorist attack happened on US soil on April 17, 2013. That’s the secret.

    Why didn’t anyone question the “accident” finding? Even when I laid out all the coincidences? Because this: “Sometimes, it really is just a coincidence”. And because people are lazy. And because sometimes they just don’t are. That’s all fine and dandy except when if people would question coincidences more often, the government would get away with corruption on a massive scale less often.


    1. Trademark, coyright- how did this lone woman legally set up a second Zorro Trust? Wouldnt that be an infringement on many levels? Could she have been approached to “collect the rigged tix” and the payoff would be a few million to front it? What is her background?

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