Elon Musk joked about buying the Manchester United soccer team Tuesday on Twitter. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Billionaire Elon Musk prompted nearly a million interactions on Twitter when he claimed that he was going to buy Premier League soccer club Manchester United. The Tesla CEO and founder of SpaceX later revealed he was joking.
Musk magnetized Twitter users with a series of messages Tuesday night on the social media platform. He started his tweeting spree with a claim that he supports the "left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party."
He followed that tweet with his message about the Manchester, England-based soccer franchise.
"Also, I'm buying Manchester United, ur welcome," Musk tweeted.
Musk's tweet totaled about 720,000 likes, 160,000 retweets, 50,000 quote tweets and 45,000 comments of Wednesday morning. He let the tweet linger for nearly four and a half hours before he responded to users.
"No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter," Musk replied. "I'm not buying any sports teams."
Musk also said he wasn't going to buy Coca-Cola and later claimed that stand-up comedy is his "side-hustle."
The Glazers, an American family, own Manchester United, and took control in 2005. Share prices of the club rose by as much as 17% Wednesday morning after Musk's joke.
In April, Musk reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over his use of Twitter. That agreement included a list of topics that he must have pre-approved before he can communicate on social media.
The settlement emerged after the SEC filed a complaint against Musk, alleging he violated federal securities laws by tweeting that he secured funding to take Twitter private.
The agency alleged that Musk misled Tesla investors with the claim, which led to a rise in shares, even though Musk hadn't discussed or confirmed important terms of the deal.
He later filed a countersuit against Twitter, accusing the platform of misleading him about its advertising base. Musk offered $44 billion to buy the social media platform.
Earlier this month, Musk sold nearly 8 million shares of Tesla stock, worth an estimated $6.88 billion.
Forbes estimates that Manchester United is worth $4.6 billion and is the third-most valuable soccer team in the world, behind Spanish La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona.