WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Japanese billionaire has broken the record for the most retweeted tweet in history over the weekend.
- Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Japanese retail websites Start Today and Zozotown, offered his Twitter followers cash to share his tweet.
- Maezawa’s post has been retweeted by over 5 million accounts, with a promise to give away 1 million yen ($923,000) to 100 people, about $10,000 per person.
A tweet by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa became the most retweeted message in history over the weekend. Maezawa, with username YouSuck2020, promised to give a cash prize to 100 randomly selected Twitter users who will follow him and retweet his message.
The 43-year-old’s tweet has been retweeted by more than 5 million accounts as of this writing. Maezawa promises to give away 1 million yen to 100 people. That’s equivalent to about US$923,000 or roughly $10,000 per person.
The tweet was written in Japanese and was posted on January 5.
“With a daily appreciation, I will give 100 million yen (total of gifts million yen) in cash. The only way to apply is to follow me and RT this tweet. The reception is up to 1/7. I will direct DM from me to the winner!” the tweet reads.
Not surprisingly, Maezawa’s followers ballooned from 501,000 to more than 5.48 million accounts as of Monday morning. His impromptu promotion went viral over the weekend.
In 2017, Carter Wilkerson held the title of the most-retweeted tweet in history. Wilkerson is an American teenager who tried to get free chicken nuggets for life from Wendy’s. The tweet went viral and scored 3.55 million retweets. He was not able to reach his 18 million retweet goal but got his free Wendy’s nuggets anyway.
Maezawa has an estimated net worth of $2 billion. He is a self-made millionaire who made money by founding the Japanese retail websites Start Today and Zozotown and online clothing retailer Zozo Inc.
Last September, he made headlines when it was revealed that he’d be the first passenger on Elon Musk’s flight around the moon. The lunar trip is scheduled for launch in 2023, tentatively.
Now, people are eager to know if Maezawa plans to make good on his promise to give out free cash.
Numerous copycat tweets can be expected in the coming days, “as swindlers try to capitalize on the publicity surrounding this “free cash” giveaway.” Chain letter-style scams are already tremendously common on social media, but “legitimate” giveaways help make otherwise skeptical people more open to believing scams, according to Gizmodo.