MrBeast has proven the age-old adage that sometimes you have to give in order to get.
In a video posted on Christmas, the YouTube star recounted how he originated the concept of giving away large sums of cash for videos that ultimately resulted in a breakout year for the 20-year-old, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson. Since launching his channel roughly six years ago, Donaldson has amassed 13 million subscribers and 1.6 billion lifetime views.
The first-ever such giveaway video, Donaldson recounts, came via a brand deal with analytics software startup Quid, in which he donated $10,000 to a homeless person. After that clip proved successful, Donaldson subsequently tested out different variations on the theme, including gifting random Twitch streamers tens of thousands of dollars, presenting his mom with $100,000, and purchasing a new car for his stepdad using pennies. More recently, Donaldson threw his support behind the controversial YouTube star PewDiePie with a pricey ad campaign, and pitted other top creators against one another in a $100,000 competition.
After working with Quid on several of the above videos, Donaldson’s second major collaborator was the coupon browser extension Honey — which helped him donate $50,000 to Twitch superstar Ninja in June 2017. While he says that more Honey-sponsored giveaways are in the works, Donaldson now appears to be wealthy enough to shell out generous sums without a partner. For instance, he says, the $100,000 prize for the YouTuber competition came directly from his own bank account.
“If you want to know where [all the money] came from,” he explains, “my parents aren’t rich, I’m only 20 years old, every dollar I’ve ever made came from YouTube — and YouTube just pays better than you think.”
However, even as he touted the lucrative potential of a YouTube career, Donaldson was struggling with demonetization woes with respect to his How I Gave Away $1,000,000 clip — which he complained had been mistakenly flagged by the video giant, and currently appears to be pending an appeal. “I’m pissed the f-ck off. Of all the videos you guys demonetize, why this?” he tweeted. “I invest everything I have into my content and pull 10 million views a video, and I still deal with this shit.” However, an hour later, Donaldson backpedaled slightly. “That was a little dramatic,” he said. “I’ve been stressed out in general lately and I think I’m accidentally letting it all out on YouTube.”
You can check out his $1,000,000 reveal video below: