MyPillow's Mike Lindell must pay contest winner $5 million for debunking voter fraud claims

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MyPillow's Mike Lindell must pay contest winner $5 million for debunking voter fraud claims

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A federal judge has told MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to hand over $5 million to a man who took up his challenge to debunk his election interference claim — and succeeded.

In the Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim ordered Lindell to pay Robert Zeidman, a computer forensics expert, the $5 million award he had promised (plus interest) within 30 days.

The yearslong saga first began at a three-day symposium in 2021 that Lindell organized to promote lies about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Lindell claimed he had data that showed the Chinese government had interfered in the election and offered a prize of $5 million to anyone who could prove his data wrong. He called it the “Prove Mike Wrong” challenge.

Zeidman, a Nevada man who voted for Trump twice, was the only person who participated in the contest, The Washington Post reported. He did indeed prove Lindell wrong, and the pillow magnate has been trying to get out of paying Zeidman since, defying an arbitration panel’s ruling and then filing for dismissal of Zeidman’s request for a court to confirm the panel’s ruling.

Lindell said he plans to appeal the latest ruling, telling ABC News, “Of course we’re going to appeal it. This guy doesn’t have a dime coming.”

But Zeidman told the Post that the decision has made him “a little more optimistic” that he would finally collect his reward. “I still think chances are probably small that I’ll see it,” he added.

If it stands, the ruling will add to Lindell’s already considerable money woes. He owes millions of dollars in legal fees as he fights off lawsuits against his voter fraud claims, including Dominion’s defamation suit seeking $1.3 billion. And in January, Lindell got into an embarrassing public tiff with Fox when the network refused to air MyPillow ads over allegations of unpaid bills (Newsweek reported in early February that ads have resumed).

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Clarissa-Jan Lim

Clarissa-Jan Lim is a breaking/trending news blogger for MSNBC Digital. She was previously a senior reporter and editor at BuzzFeed News.

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