Nevada teen Carter Wilkerson has successfully ousted Ellen DeGeneres for the world record of the most retweeted tweet of all time. The title, previously held by DeGeneres at 3.4 million retweets, comes a little over a month after Wilkerson asked the Wendy’s Twitter account how many retweets he would need for a free year’s supply of chicken nuggets, and the company responded with “18 million.”
Since then, brands and celebrities have all poured their support for Wilkerson, from Apple Music, Google, and Microsoft to actor Aaron Paul, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, and Ellen DeGeneres herself. United tried to get in on the fun, too, but mostly this backfired just about immediately. Meanwhile, Twitter has granted Wilkerson a verified badge, and made a custom hashtag with emoji for the cause. It even included Wilkerson’s tweet in its Q1 shareholder letter.
Wilkerson appeared on The Ellen Show on April 18th (about a week and a half since his initial tweet) where she proposed that if he makes it to 18 million retweets, she’ll give him a special prize — but on the condition that he doesn’t surpass her own record by asking fans to retweet both their accounts and surge to 18 million together. Whoops. Sorry, Ellen.
Since the tweet went viral, Wilkerson has pivoted his objective a bit — promising that once the record is broken, Wendy’s will donate $100,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Wendy’s also confirmed that the teen will get his nuggets, though it didn’t specify how many pieces he’ll be allotted per day. For the amount of press the company got though, complying with Wilkerson’s nuggets demand sounds like bargain.