“Don’t let hunger happen to you” goes the slogan from the Snickers commercials. Exhibit A: this Twitter request from teenager Carter Wilkerson, who loves chicken nuggets.
Wilkerson of course didn’t expect free nuggets or to reach 18 million retweets. After all, the record for most retweets was over 2 million for Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie. But Wilkerson went with the joke, appealing to his 150 followers with the plea “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS.”
Naturally, the internet got wind of it. One week later, the tweet garnered 3 million retweets.
As “Nugget Boy” approached her record, DeGeneres engaged in a bit of fowl play. She corralled Bradley Cooper (who took the famed selfie) to encourage people to up her retweets. Then she invited Wilkerson on her show for a tweet war truce, offering a flat screen TV and a year’s supply of Ellen-branded underwear. (And then mock-threatened on Twitter to take the underwear and TV back if Wilkerson passed her.)
By May 9, Wilkerson had the retweet record, now up to a total of 3.6 million. While he fell short of 18 million, Wendy’s still rewarded him with an awesome certificate, a $100,000 donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation – and yes, a year’s worth of nuggets.
As the retweets piled up, friends and family suggested that Wilkerson create merchandise to support his cause. Thus, the Wilkerson family launched nuggsforcarter.com. The page sells four different shirts (including an inspired hair and glasses design), with the proceeds going to charity. “I’m a pretty lucky kid in that I have a lot in life,” Wilkerson told People magazine. “I didn’t really need the proceeds, so I thought why not donate it to charity.” One can assume, though, that the nuggs will be all his.