This week, a long-running legal saga over a prominent right-wing mouthpiece’s false assertions about the 2020 election finally came to an end. No, not Fox News’ historic $787 million settlement with Dominion. I’m talking about MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who just lost a ton of money in the funniest way possible.
Two years ago, in the midst of a national push to prove that the election had been stolen from President Donald Trump, Lindell put out a challenge: “Prove Mike Wrong.” Lindell had data that he claimed showed Chinese interference in the election. The instructions for the contest were as follows: “Find proof that this cyber data is not valid data from the November Election. For the people who find the evidence, [$]5 million is their reward.”
Robert Zeidman, a software developer from Nevada, took him up on the offer and looked at the data himself. According to filings in the ensuing case, Zeidman, a Trump supporter, did not expect to win any money—to the contrary, he believed he might even see “an election overturned.” But when Zeidman analyzed the 11 files Lindell had made available, he concluded that they did not, in fact, “contain any information related to the November 2020 election.”
He filed a 15-page report for Lindell, and waited for his prize money. Lindell wouldn’t pay up. So Zeidman sued, and under the terms of the contest that Lindell drew up, the case went to an arbitration panel—which on Wednesday, decided in favor of Zeidman. He gets $5 million!
That’s a fun little story. Lindell, it should be noted, told the Washington Post he is going to appeal the decision to a judge, although the whole point of going to arbitration is to avoid the courts. But what really stands out is this: Zeidman, according to the Post, “was the only expert who submitted a claim.”
That’s right. Mike, the wrongest guy in the world, promised to give $5 million to anyone who could “Prove Mike Wrong,” and only one person took him up on it. What was everyone else doing? What was I doing? I could have $5 million right now. I could buy a house. I could buy a yacht. I could light it all on fire if I wanted.
Come to think of it, that’s sort of what Mike Lindell did.