Ja­panese bil­lion­aire of­fers prize money for retweets

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

What gets Twit­ter users more ex­cited than a year’s sup­ply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets? Ap­par­ently cold, hard cash.The most retweeted tweet of all time now be­longs to Yusaku Maezawa, a Ja­panese bil­lion­aire be­hind the e-com­merce com­pany Zo­zo­town. His mes­sage to the Twit­ter­verse promised 100 win­ners a chance to win a piece of 100 mil­lion Ja­panese yen, or about $920,800, if they retweeted him.

Maezawa said his pro­mo­tion on Twit­ter was a show of grat­i­tude af­ter Zo­zo­town sold 10 bil­lion yen worth of mer­chan­dise dur­ing its New Year’s sale. His mes­sage has been retweeted more than 5.6 mil­lion times. He said that he would con­tact the win­ners through di­rect mes­sage. Twit­ter con­firmed that Maezawa’s post is now the most retweeted mes­sage on the plat­form and that the tweet is con­sid­ered a “con­test/sweep­stakes” ad and is al­lowed on Twit­ter. Zozo Inc. did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Maezawa is not only a high-pro­file en­tre­pre­neur: He is also slated to be SpaceX’s first tourist to pay for a trip around the moon. Last year, at an un­veil­ing at SpaceX head­quar­ters in Hawthorne, Cal­i­for­nia, Maezawa an­nounced that he had bought ev­ery seat on SpaceX’s in­au­gu­ral flight to Earth’s satel­lite, sched­uled to em­bark in 2023 and take about a week. Maezawa said he would in­vite up to eight artists to join him on his jour­ney to the moon, lead­ing to the cre­ation of art­works “to in­spire the dreamer in all of us.”

Maezawa has more than 6 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter. The new cham­pion of retweets ousted the for­mer record holder, Carter Wilk­er­son. In 2017, the then-16-year-old kicked off a vi­ral at­tempt to get Wendy’s to give him free chicken nuggets for a year. Wilk­er­son’s tweet earned more than 3.5 mil­lion retweets. Wendy’s gave $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foun­da­tion as part of his ef­fort, and Wilk­er­son said he raised $5,000 for a local can­cer­re­lated or­ga­ni­za­tion off the nuggets cam­paign.

“I don’t re­ally take too much of­fense that I lost the record be­cause just get­ting my chicken nuggets and get­ting the money for char­ity was more im­por­tant to me than break­ing the record,” he said in an in­ter­view Mon­day. Now 18 and a full­time col­lege stu­dent, Wilk­er­son said he ex­pected to be beaten even­tu­ally but was sur­prised by how quickly Maezawa amassed retweets. It took Wilk­er­son about a month af­ter his ini­tial tweet to beat the pre­vi­ous record holder, Ellen DeGeneres, who posted a celebrity-packed selfie taken by Bradley Cooper at the 2014 Os­cars. –

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