After hitting their fingers on the screen of a phone for over 70 hours, YouTube contestants Jimmy ‘MrBeast’ Donaldson called a premature end to a huge competition originally designed with one winner and a $ 25,000 prize in mind. The result? Four winners, each walking away with $ 20,000 in hand.
Donaldson’s “Finger on the app” was a one-off game designed in collaboration with internet collective MSCHF. The rules were simple: be the last person to take your finger off a phone screen and win $ 25,000. The game started on June 30 at 3:00 PM ET and continued until Donaldson ended the madness on Twitter today at 1:15 PM ET.
“Dear four remaining participants with your finger still in the app, I will end it here”, Donaldson tweeted. “Three days is insane! You ALL win and receive ALL $ 20,000. CONGRATULATIONS!”
Despite Donaldson’s call to players to “go to sleep,” a few participants continued. A player argued over a live stream that Donaldson’s tweet can be a trick; If three of the last four players removed their fingers, the last person left standing could still win $ 25,000. Another member of the last four lost the game.
A few players said they tweeted to Donaldson and asked about the next steps because they got confused. Donaldson then tweeted that he was able to get two of the $ 20,000 winners in a phone call. A follow-up tweet from Donaldson confirmed “all four winners have been contacted and will receive their money.”
“Glad that a robot didn’t win,” Donaldson tweeted.
Donaldson also said that many people pretended to have won, but his team “confirmed the actual winners through the backend and contacted them all”. At least one person on a live stream who claimed to have been in the latter group said they had not received a call from Donaldson. The edge has contacted MSCHF and Donaldson for more information.
Last day, Donaldson started offering some of the remaining players thousands of dollars to take their finger off the app. Two players made the app on July 2 for $ 5,000, according to Donaldson’s tweets, and another two players took their fingers off today for $ 10,000 each.
Donaldson made a name on YouTube for similar videos. Over the past three years, Donaldson has been filming videos about making large donations or presenting challenges that bring friends and strangers new homes and cars. His channel skyrocketed under the new format. Donaldson gave his mother $ 100,000, bought one home for his best friend, opened pop-up shops where visitors could buy expensive electronics cheaply, and car buyers bought a vehicle of their choice after taking over a dealership, give away practically any car.
Donaldson spoke prior to the game’s launch The edge about the expectations that both his team and MSCHF had for the match. The app was prepared to include “millions of simultaneous players” with over 1 million players within the first hour. Having so many players participating in a game at the same time raises some concerns.
Donaldson was particularly interested in “making sure someone can’t just stick their hand on the phone with adhesive tape,” he said The edge at that moment. This required players to occasionally move their fingers in specific ways, he said. Donaldson also acknowledged that much of it is out of his control, but it is that chaotic element that he was most excited about.
“I think the beauty of the game is that we’re not really in control,” said Donaldson. “It’s really up to the people who play and see who lasts the longest, and I think the most important thing was keeping the game fair.”
Towards the end it became clear that Donaldson wanted to control the game a bit to make sure the participants finally got some sleep.