Once upon a time, the most-retweeted tweet in the world was a star-studded selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars. Now, it has been bested by a teenage boy asking for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. And, because it’s only fair, he’s getting them. Welcome to 2017.
The author of this historic tweet is Carter Wilkerson, a 16-year-old high school junior from Reno, Nevada. He sent the now-famous tweet on April 5, thinking it would be nothing more than a funny joke. His previous Twitter exploits had been largely ignored by the rest of the Twitterverse. He never expected to actually get the 18 million retweets that the Wendy’s account stipulated in order to get the free nuggets.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
And then they started rolling in.
Just over a month later, the tweet passed 3.43 million retweets and Wendy’s said they would indeed give him free chicken nuggets for a year—this despite the initial stipulation of 18 million retweets. Wendy’s also pledged to donate $100,000 in Carter’s name to the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption.
And Carter can’t help but enjoy his newfound fame.
“I think they’re all pretty jealous,” he said of his classmates in an interview with the New York Times. “Who doesn’t want to be the Nugget Kid?”
Label of “Nugget Kid” notwithstanding, Carter says he realized early on that “when you gain internet fame, it’s important to use it for good,” he said.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 9, 2017
He has encouraged his 115,000 Twitter followers to donate to Pinocchio’s Moms on the Run, an organization based in Reno that supports women with breast cancer. Shortly after his nuggets tweet gained worldwide attention, Carter began selling T-shirts, noting that all proceeds would be donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption.
Between junior prom coming up, free Wendy’s chicken nuggets for a year and internet fame, Carter is having a pretty good month. Now let’s see if he’ll share any of those nuggets with a loyal follower…