On April 5, 2017, Carter Wilkerson tweeted at Wendy’s, asking them how many retweets he’d need to get a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied with an outrageous number: 18 million.
If Wendy’s thought it was a joke, Carter is about to be the one who gets the last laugh, because he’s already earned free nuggets for a year, and on Tuesday morning, he officially became the author of the world’s most-retweeted tweet, surpassing Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscar selfie.
Read on to learn more about the 16-year-old Nevada Teen, Carter Wilkerson.
1. He Broke Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter Record on Tuesday Morning
On Tuesday morning, Carter accumulated more than 3.43 million retweets, officially breaking Ellen’s record for the most retweeted tweet of all time.
When Ellen first caught wind that her title of Twitter Queen was being threatened by a 16-year-old high schooler, she enlisted the help of Bradley Cooper. Together, the pair created a PSA, asking everyone to both retweet Carter so he could reach his goal, but to also retweet their tweet so they could keep their title.
When Carter was invited to be a part of her show, he received a big screen TV and a year’s supply of Ellen underwear. It was all part of Ellen’s plan to “incentivize” Carter to not break her record.
2. He Went From 150 Followers to 104k
During his interview with Ellen, Wilkerson said that when he first started, he had just 150 followers on Twitter. Now, he’s got 104k. All in the span of a few weeks.
Carter explains that the morning after he posted the tweet, he woke up to 50,00 retweets. “I thought I was dreaming. I was dumbfounded– it was crazy.” Ellen jokingly responds, “Well it is crazy.” Before leaving the show, Ellen threatened, “If you pass me, Carter, I will come to your house. I will take that TV back, I will take the underwear back, and I will… do more.”
Ellen hasn’t yet responded to Carter’s win, but knowing the TV personality, it’s only a matter of time.
3. Wendy’s Has Already Said It Will Give Him Free Nuggets for a Year
When Carter broke the record for retweets, Wendy’s said they would give him free chicken nuggets for a year. They also said they would donate $100,000 in his name to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Carter has been a Wendy’s nuggets fan since day one. In January, he tweeted, “I highly recommend @Wendys chicken nuggets to everyone.” He tells the New York Times he always planned on following in his parents footsteps– both are dentists– but now, he says he may be interested in marketing.
4. His Classmates Call Him ‘the Nugget Kid’
In an interview on Monday with the New York Times, Carter said that his classmates have started calling him “the Nugget Kid”. “I think they’re all pretty jealous,” he tells the outlet. “Who doesn’t want to be the Nugget Kid?”
Though Carter realizes his time in the spotlight may be brief, he hopes to use his internet fame to do some good in the world. He’s encouraged followers to donate to Pinocchio’s Mom on the Run, an organization supporting women with breast cancer.
5. He’s Captain of His High School Football Team
Carter, the oldest of four siblings, runs hurdles in track and is the captain of his high school’s football team. According to the New York Times, he previously created a Twitter account to follow sports teams and find funny memes.
On the site’s ‘About Me’ page, Carter reveals that when he was 9, his mother was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, a mere two weeks after his younger sister was born. “I didn’t really know what was going on,” he writes. “Just that it wasn’t good. Many friends and families in the area helped us out by making meals for us when we were busy with our chaotic life. Luckily, my mom was able to overcome her cancer. Her strength and faith has inspired me to this day.”