Born Name: Jimmy Donaldson
Date of Birthday: May 7, 1998
Place of Birth: Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Occupation: YouTuber, businessman, and philanthropist
Partner(s): Maddy Spidell
YouTube information Channels
MrBeast en español
Beast Reacts en español
MrBeast На Русском
MrBeast Gaming en español
MrBeast en Français
MrBeast Gaming Brasil
Genre; Comedy, entertainmen, tvlogs, gaming, reaction
95.5 million (main channel)
165 million (combined)
Associated acts: PewDiePie, Pokimane, Marques Brownlee, Corpse Husband, MatPat, Sidemen, Dream, Cr1TiKaL, Mark Rober
Jimmy Donaldson (born May 7, 1998), better known as MrBeast, is an American YouTube personality, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He has been credited with pioneering a genre of YouTube videos that centers on expensive stunts.
Donaldson began posting videos to YouTube in early 2012 at the age of 13, under the handle "MrBeast6000"; his early content ranged from Let's Plays to "videos estimating the wealth of other YouTubers." He went viral in 2017 after his "counting to 100,000" video earned tens of thousands of views in just a few days, and he has become increasingly popular ever since, with most of his videos gaining tens of millions of views. Over time, his style of content diversified to include challenge and donation videos that reward thousands of dollars, videos with arduous tasks or survival challenges, and original vlogs. Once his channel took off, Donaldson hired several of his childhood friends to help him run the growing brand. As of 2022, the MrBeast team was made up of 60 people.
Donaldson's main YouTube channel, which had nearly 94 million subscribers in April 2022, is called "MrBeast".[A] He also runs several other YouTube channels, including Beast Reacts, MrBeast Gaming, MrBeast Shorts, and a philanthropy channel. He was also one of the 10 highest-paid YouTubers of 2020. Donaldson is also the founder of MrBeast Burger and Feastables, and a co-creator of Team Trees, a fundraiser for the Arbor Day Foundation that has raised over $23 million, and Team Seas, a fundraiser for Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup that has raised over $30 million.
Donaldson was born on May 7, 1998, in the state of Kansas. Donaldson was mainly raised alongside his brother CJ in Greenville, North Carolina. In 2016, Donaldson graduated from Greenville Christian Academy, a private secondary school in the area. He briefly attended East Carolina University before dropping out. Donaldson suffers from Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition.
Early viral attempts (2012–2017)
Donaldson uploaded his first YouTube video in February 2012, at the age of 13, under the handle "MrBeast6000"; his early content ranged from Let's Plays (mainly focused on Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2), videos estimating the wealth of other YouTubers, videos that offered tips to upcoming YouTube creators, and commentary on YouTube drama. During this early period of his channel, Donaldson himself made few appearances in his videos. In July 2013, the subscriber count of his channel, then named "That-dude", was around 240.
In 2015 and 2016, Donaldson began to gain popularity on the platform due to his "worst intros" series of videos, which rounded up and poked fun at YouTuber introductions he discovered on the site. By mid-2016, Donaldson had around 30,000 subscribers. In fall 2016, Donaldson dropped out of East Carolina University to pursue a full-time career as a YouTuber. His mother did not approve of this, and made him move out of the family home.
As his channel grew Donaldson was able to hire four of his childhood friends – Chris Tyson, Chandler Hallow, Garrett Ronalds, and Jake Franklin – to work for him and the channel, which has led to them being regularly shown in his videos.
Rise to fame (2017–2020)
In January 2017, Donaldson published an almost day-long video of himself counting to 100,000. The stunt took him 40 hours, with some parts sped up to "keep it under 24 hours."[better source needed] A subsequent video titled "Counting to 200,000 (Road to a Mil)" was uploaded the next month, although, according to Donaldson, it too had to be sped up because the full fifty-five hours of counting exceeded YouTube's upload limit. Donaldson also gained popularity during this period with stunts, such as attempting to break glass using a hundred megaphones, watching paint dry for an hour, attempting to stay underwater for 24 hours (which ended up failing due to health issues), and an unsuccessful attempt to spin a fidget spinner for a day. By 2018, Donaldson had given out $1 million through his outlandish stunts, which earned him the title of "YouTube's biggest philanthropist."
During PewDiePie vs T-Series in 2018, a competition to become the most-subscribed channel on YouTube, Donaldson bought billboards and numerous television and radio advertisements to help PewDiePie gain more subscribers than T-Series. During Super Bowl LIII, he bought multiple seats for himself and his team, whose shirts spelled out "Sub 2 PewDiePie."
In March 2019, Donaldson organized and filmed a real-life battle royale competition in Los Angeles with a prize of $200,000 (2 games were played, making game earnings of $100,000 for each game) in collaboration with Apex Legends. The event and prize pool was sponsored by Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts.
Donaldson was accused of using counterfeit money in his video titled "I Opened A FREE BANK", published on November 23, 2019. He later explained that he used fake money to mitigate the potential safety and security risks caused by a rush of people clamoring to get the free money, and claimed that he exchanged the counterfeit bills for a real check for everyone afterwards.
In late November and December 2019, Donaldson launched a series of videos where 16 contestants try not to take their hand off an object or try not to leave a location. These competitions are endurance-based. The series has garnered over 200 million views and ended with a person (Mark) winning $1,000,000 by being the last to take his hand off the stack of money, after 36 hours. The winner of the challenge, Mark, said that the prize changed his life - he was able to replace his car and house.
In April 2020, Donaldson created a rock, paper, scissors competition stream that featured 32 influencers and a grand prize of $250,000, which at the time became YouTube's most-watched live Original event with 662,000 concurrent viewers. The event was ultimately won by Nadeshot. In October 2020, Donaldson hosted another influencer tournament featuring 24 competitors with a grand prize of $300,000. The tournament was ultimately won by the D'Amelio family, which caused controversy due to claims that they cheated.
On January 1, 2021, Donaldson released the video "Youtube Rewind 2020, Thank God It's Over". He previously announced in November 2020 that he would be making a Rewind days after YouTube announced that they would not be making one. In Donaldson's video, he explains that he had always believed that YouTubers "should get more say in Rewind," and with this in mind, he decided to call "hundreds of YouTubers." At the end of the video, Donaldson gives a shoutout to PewDiePie, citing him and his 2018 Rewind as the inspiration for Donaldson's Rewind.
In February 2021, Donaldson made a guest appearance on the Clubhouse app, causing it to crash. A month later, Donaldson signed a deal with Jellysmack which allows the company to exclusively manage distribution of his video content on Snapchat and Facebook.
In November 2021, Donaldson uploaded a recreation of the survival drama streaming television series Squid Game in real life, in which 456 people competed for a $456,000 cash prize, without the violence in the show. The video has more than 248 million views as of May 8, 2022, making it Donaldson's most-viewed YouTube video and also making it one of the most-watched YouTube videos of 2021.
In December 2021, Donaldson created a third influencer tournament featuring 15 competitors with a grand prize of $1,000,000.[B] The tournament took place in person at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and the challenge consisted of two rounds. The first round of the tournament featured 10 different challenges between 15 competitors, and the second round featured 10 winners from the first round competing in a hide-and-seek competition. The tournament was ultimately won by Zach King.[better source needed]
In January 2022, Forbes ranked MrBeast as YouTube's highest-earning creator, earning an estimated $54 million in 2021. Forbes also stated that his income in 2021 would have placed him 40th in the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, earning as much money as Vin Diesel and Lewis Hamilton did in 2020.
— Jimmy Donaldson on his YouTube videos
Donaldson's videos are known to have elements in order to go "viral". On YouTube, his videos make use of catchy clickbait titles such as "I Adopted EVERY Dog in a Dog Shelter",[C] explain the challenges in under half a minute, and keep their length between ten and twenty minutes.
According to Donaldson, large monetary prizes are also an important factor in viewer engagement. Therefore, his videos often involve him donating large amounts of money to individuals, with many of these videos being sponsored by various companies. He also sometimes hosts competitions in video games, such as Minecraft, for large prizes, including donating a house in one of his gaming videos. MrBeast has been credited with launching a new style of high-cost stunt videos on YouTube, where creators pull off elaborate challenges and large-scale sponsored giveaways.
A typical video involves Donaldson giving away large sums of money, such as giving $100,000 worth of items to homeless shelters in December 2018, donating $32,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, $70,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and $10,000 to a Los Angeles animal shelter. His expensive YouTube videos are mostly funded and sponsored through large-scale brand deals that appear as ads within his videos. Psychologist Tim Kasser analyzed that a MrBeast video promoting a product would be about half as expensive as running a television ad, with higher engagement and reception. Donaldson claims that he runs his main channel at a loss.
Finger on the App
In June 2020, Donaldson, in collaboration with Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, released a one-time multiplayer mobile game titled "Finger on the App" which tasked players to hold a finger to their phone screen in the app, with the last person to take it off winning $25,000. In the end, four people ended up winning $20,000 each after keeping their finger on the app for over 70 hours. The game was reportedly so successful that a sequel titled "Finger on the App 2" was planned to originally launch in December 2020. However, the game was postponed to February and then further delayed to March 2021 due to a flood of downloads, causing the game to crash and requiring the game's developers to upgrade their servers. This time, the game featured a grand prize of $100,000. The game was ultimately won by a 19-year-old man who used the username Swagbacon123 on Twitter, after around 51 hours of competition. The second-place finisher also received a prize of $20,000.
Will Hyde, a producer for the MrBeast channel, announced in a November 2020 article with The Wake Weekly that Donaldson would launch a virtual restaurant called MrBeast Burger in December 2020. Hyde said his team worked with Virtual Dining Concepts during the development of the restaurant concept. He said that MrBeast Burger will sell franchise rights to serve the burgers to restaurants across the US and customers will be able to order the burgers via online delivery services.[verification needed]
In January 2022, Donaldson announced the creation of a new food company called Feastables, which launched with its own brand of chocolate bars called "MrBeast Bars." At launch they offered 3 flavors of bars. The launch corresponded with a sweepstakes with over $1 million in prizes, including 10 grand prize winners who would receive a chance to compete for a chocolate factory in a future video. On February 2, 2022, Feastables announced partnerships with Turtle Beach Corporation and Roccat to provide prizes for the sweepstakes.
Investments and partnerships
Donaldson is an investor in the tech startup Backbone, which produces the Backbone One, a controller that makes smartphones appear more similar to Nintendo Switch controllers, and the Backbone app, a content creation and social tools app for its users.
In March 2021, Donaldson partnered with Creative Juice financial network to introduce Juice Funds, a $2 million investment fund that offers creators up to $250,000 in exchange for equity in their YouTube channels.
In April 2021, Donaldson became a long-term investor and partner of financial technology company Current. The same month, Donaldson received backlash after fans lost large amounts of money in a cryptocurrency scheme that Donaldson had invested in and promoted.
On October 25, 2019, Donaldson and former NASA engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober organized a collaborative fundraising challenge event on YouTube called #TeamTrees. The goal of this project was to raise $20 million for the Arbor Day Foundation by January 1, 2020, and plant trees "no later than December 2022." Every donation goes to the Arbor Day Foundation, which pledges to plant one tree for every dollar donated. Notable YouTubers such as Rhett & Link, Marshmello, iJustine, Marques Brownlee, The Slow Mo Guys, Ninja, Simone Giertz, Jacksepticeye, and Smarter Every Day brought attention to this idea. Trees began to be planted in October 2019 in national parks of the United States.
As of April 27, 2022, they have received over $23.7 million in donations which equates to 23.7 million trees planted. As of April 27, 2022, they need to plant 10 million more trees to achieve this number.
On September 17, 2020, the YouTube channel Beast Philanthropy was created. In December 2021 the Associated Press stated that the charity had distributed over 1.1 million pounds of food, was helping to feed nearly 1,000 households in the Greenville, North Carolina area on a weekly basis, and had delivered over 9,000 hot meals for victims of Hurricane Ida.
On October 29, 2021, Donaldson and Rober organized another collaborative challenge event on YouTube titled #TeamSeas. The goal of this project was to raise $30 million for the Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup by January 1, 2022. The $30 million goal would fund the removal of 30 million pounds of plastic and other waste from oceans, rivers, and beaches. Donaldson and Rober enlisted thousands of content creators, including AzzyLand, DanTDM, TommyInnit, LinusTechTips, TierZoo, LEMMiNO, The Infographics Show, Hannah Stocking, Dhar Mann and Marques Brownlee, and partnered with BEN and TubeBuddy's initiative of 8 million global creators, to promote the fundraiser.
Opinion polls have shown that Donaldson is one of the most well-liked YouTubers on the platform. A 2021 SurveyMonkey poll showed that 70% of respondents have a favorable view of him, compared to 12% who had an unfavorable view.
During a Clubhouse room in February 2021, Donaldson booted entrepreneur Farokh Sarmad after he said he could not pronounce his name, a move that Sarmad later said was racist. Sarmad faced backlash from YouTube's commentary community and other Clubhouse users who were present at the call who argued against Sarmad's claims, claiming that MrBeast removed him along with others to make room for women on the stage to be more inclusive.
Allegations of workplace bullying
In a May 2021 The New York Times article, Matt Turner, an editor for Donaldson from February 2018 to September 2019, claimed that Donaldson berated him almost daily, including calling him a retard. Turner also reported that he was regularly not credited for his work. Reporting by Insider showed that Turner previously posted a video in 2018 explaining his allegations and in October 2019 released a deleted Twitter thread which stated that he was "yelled at, bullied, called mentally retarded and replaceable by MrBeast every single day." Also in 2019, Turner released a since-deleted YouTube video saying Donaldson deleted a project file for a video he was editing for him because a compilation of clips of his philanthropy did not equal the $500,000 figure mentioned in the title of the video.
Nate Anderson quit after working for Donaldson for a week in 2018 over what he said were unreasonable demands and called Donaldson a perfectionist. After releasing a video describing his experience working with Donaldson, Anderson reportedly received death threats and hateful comments from MrBeast's fans. Nine other employees who worked for Donaldson also stated that while Donaldson was sometimes generous, his demeanour would change when cameras were off of him. They described a difficult work environment while working under him.