From watching paint dry to making millions: The life of Mr. Beast    

The 23-year-old's bizarre challenges have virtually created a new genre of videos centered around giving away money   

In the ocean of online content, Mr. Beast, the online handle of Jimmy Donaldson is known for his philanthropy and outlandish stunts. Donaldson has given away millions of dollars to philanthropy and spent millions more on stupid challenges. He has built the world’s tallest Lego tower, bought two million Christmas lights, read every word in the dictionary, and forced his best friend to sit in a pool of snakes.

Besides the dumb challenges Beast is also known for his philanthropy. It first started as small as giving away $10,000 to people on the streets and is now big enough to help cities.

Over the years Beast has donated millions to food banks, children in need, and the elderly.  

And his most recent project is vouching to clean up a pound of trash for every dollar donated with the help of TeamSeas, and many other YouTube celebrities. The charity was a success and raised the pledged $30 million.    

Some of his recent giveaway stunts have seemed like comedy routines. Like the time he gave three million pennies to his three millionth subscriber, or when he was tipping waiters in gold bars, and walked a marathon in the world’s largest shoes. Although my favourite had to be when he cut a table in half only using plastic knives. On his channel, there are hundreds of videos like these all with a different twist.   

In his “buried alive” video we watch Donalson spend 50 hours underground in a coffin. In that video, Donalson digs a massive hole spanning ten feet, puts a see-through coffin there, gets in the box, and an excavator pours a mountain on him. That box was his home for the next two days.  His state-of-the-art death box cost a quarter of a million dollars, complete with a ventilation system, colourful changing lights, three camera angles, a duffel bag of food, and a team of medics on standby if anything went wrong. He says, “I was probably safer down there than I was above on the ground.” But safe doesn’t mean easy, even If you have a quarter-million-dollar coffin.   

“My back hurts, and I miss walking,” says Donaldson. He would also have to battle claustrophobia. Not being able to move for an hour can be challenging for the average person let alone 50.  

“That was stupid I have a massive headache and I’m starving,” he says after getting out of the coffin.  

And “giving $1,000,000 of Food to People in need” is one of his philanthropy videos. Donaldson explains that due to COVID-19 people have been hoarding food, creating a food shortage. So, he buys $1 million worth of protein products to help. He loads the food onto six semi-trucks and drives around town giving away skids of goods to foodbanks.  

While Donaldson has become more focused on philanthropy, he made a name for himself on YouTube doing bizarre and often seemingly boring stunts. Three years ago, you could watch Donaldson put himself through mental torture by counting to absurdly large numbers in one sitting. He recorded himself counting to 100,000 which took over 40 hours. And seeing the 19-year-old suffering was part of the appeal.

Another one of these videos came to him in his senior year of high school.   

“So I was in math class in high-school, and I had a plastic knife in my pocket from lunch and I sawed a little bit and I thought to myself you could cut a table with a plastic knife, and later that day I run to the store, and I buy $5 worth of plastic knives. And I grabbed one of our tables and start cutting it and turn on the camera I thought this would take like 4 hours.”  

“It took days of just sawing,” he says.   

His most recent project recreating Squid Game shattered YouTube. The multimillion-dollar video had been hyped up weeks before release. Recreations of sets were posted on Donaldson’s Twitter account garnering massive attention. 

His biggest video yet features 456 competitors and a dozen guards in the iconic pink tracksuits. His red-light green-light set was a football field in size, and even came with the creepy girl statue from the show. Other sets like the glass bridge and tug of war challenge were CGI enhanced to look realistic. Beast even recreated the giant fish tank with the massive cash prize. 

That video accumulated 114 million views in 4 days which is funnily enough more views than the actual show.

When Donaldson isn’t busy giving away money or working on his main YouTube channel, he works on his two other YouTube channels devoted to gaming and reaction videos.  

 “I want to build other channels like Beast Gaming and Beast Reacts so I can run my main channel at a loss and grow as big as possible. And then use my main channel’s influence to one-day open hundreds of homeless shelters/food banks and give away all the money.” says Donaldson.  

And he’s already started on that path, opening his first food bank in August of this year and managing to do weekly food drives and provide holiday meals for the impoverished. 

“I promise I’m dying with zero dollars in my bank account. That’s my game-plan and if you don’t believe me, just watch.”

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