Jimmy Donaldson built a $54 million empire on elaborate pranks and eye popping giveaways. Next up Becoming the most popular creator on the planet In an undisclosed location in North Carolina Jimmy Donaldson is about to show me a million dollars in cash. Donaldson a.k.a. Mr Beast is the biggest YouTuber in the country and possibly by the time this story is published the world. Rangy at six feet two and clad in a gray Nike sweatsuit Donaldson has been walking me through his companys warehouse showing off the detritus of various videos made under the Mr Beast banner a melange of stunts pranks and eye popping cash giveaways. In one area there are piles of Game Stop merchandise from a video where he promised to buy everything a contestant could fit into a circumscribed triangle He just wanted cash instead Donaldson says in another crates stuffed with inflatable dinosaur costumes for a video titled Walking Into Random Stores With 100 Dinosaurs. In the back there are 1 billion Orbeez tiny gelfilled pellets that Donaldson used to fill his best friends backyard for a video back in 2018.
Then we come to the money. If you wanted to rob us heres where youd rob us Donaldson says. The cash is guarded by an affable man named Tracy a former physical therapist with bright blue eyes and an eastern Carolina twang he is an operations manager at MrBeast YouTube LLC and the stepfather of its founder. Piles of bills lie in a steelplated closet in filing cabinets stacked neatly in rows all in ones. Usually its a full million but today theres $100000 missing for an upcoming trip to Florida where Donaldson and his crew will shoot a Would You Rather video — as in would you rather swim with sharks for that money or walk a bridge of alligators. Some of the bills are crumpled on the floor at Donaldsons Adidas sneakers It takes up more space and looks better on camera that way he explains.
A funny thing happens when you see a lot of money in one place. As the smell hits my nostrils crisp and pungent like a pile of autumn leaves or a Xerox machine on the fritz I start to think about the ways it could change my life or the lives of those around me — the medical bills that need to be paid school tuition child care all of the Go Fund Mes and charities it could help. I feel almost lightheaded as if Ive taken a right hook from a Paul brother square in the jaw a recent Beast stunt that came with a $20000 prize.