Carter Wilkerson aka “Nugget Boy” has been stirring things up on Twitter since April, when he tweeted at Wendy’s with the aim of satisfying his love for chicken nuggets.
Asking how many retweets were needed to receive 365 days of free nuggets, the fast food restaurant chain humored the 16-year-old from Reno, Nevada with a response: “18 million”.
From that single tweet, what started as an innocent question quickly turned into an ambitious online campaign- and one that threatened to break one of the most well-known records on the internet.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017tweet
Carter has now been on a one-track mission to earn his nuggets - and while he hasn’t yet reached the initial goal of 18 million, he has achieved the record for Most retweeted message on Twitter - formerly held by @TheEllenShow's Ellen DeGeneres and her iconic Oscars selfie.
Ellen had anticipated the growing threat of Nugget Boy’s tweet since it had reached over 2 million retweets, and put out a series of announcements on The Ellen Show in an attempt to defend her record.
It’s been labelled the “epic Twitter battle” and in efforts to remain the most retweeted message on the internet, Ellen not only recruited selfie-taker Bradley Cooper to send out a PSA to fans, but even invited Nugget Boy to the show to meet her competition.
“My Oscar selfie holds the record with 3.3 million retweets, and if you think I’m going to lose that record to some chicken nugget kid, you are out of your cluckin’ mind!” she joked with audience members.
When Carter visited the show, Ellen asked about why the nugget lover was so willing to sabotage her record – offering him a 55 inch television and a year’s supply of Ellen underwear to persuade him to not break her title.
As a response, he openly answered “Honestly, I just want chicken nuggets. I just love chicken nuggets.”
In order to help Nugget Boy achieve his dream of a year of chicken nuggets, and also keep her record, she asked online users everywhere to retweet Carter’s tweet, as well as hers to keep the lead.
But after a month-long battle, Carter has successfully surpassed Ellen’s record, with a total of 3,430,500 and counting to Ellen’s 3,430,249.
May 9, 2017tweet
While the internet has come to know Carter Wilkerson as the boy who just wants a year’s supply of chicken, several do not know he has been using his overnight fame to also raise money for several charities.
As part of his nugget crusade, Carter began a website in which he sold several t-shirts in support of the cause, with 100% of sales proceeds being donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – an organization that supports children in foster care.
Ranging from $20-$25 per t-shirt, that’s a hefty amount of donations going to an honorable cause.
In light of his philanthropic efforts, Wendy’s has also donated $100,000 to the foundation in Carters’s honor to achieving a new record.
May 9, 2017tweet
Aside from donating to the foster care charity, he also asked his followers to contribute to the Pinocchio’s Mom on the Run, an organization that provides services to women diagnose with breast cancer and their families.
This cause runs close to Carter's heart, as his mother survived Stage III breast cancer.
“I want to give back. I am incredibly lucky to be born into a family like mine,” says Carter on his website, “I am so blessed to have an opportunity to use my voice to support something I believe in.”
Since Carter has broken the record, Wendys has agreed to give him a year's worth of nuggets.
“You’ve more than earned our respect ... and the nuggets,” said Kurt Kane, chief concept and marketing officer for The Wendy’s Company. "His drive has brought about truly honorable, and impressive record-breaking efforts."