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Eccentric Japanese billionaire earns retweet world record with $92mn giveaway

Eccentric Japanese billionaire earns retweet world record with $92mn giveaway
Japanese billionaire and clothing retail tycoon Yusaku Maezawa has clinched the top spot for most retweeted tweet of all time, using the tried and trusted ‘free cash’ method.

The eccentric founder of Zozo Inc., originally a drummer in a punk band, promised to give out 100 million yen ($925,000) in cash prizes to a lucky 100 participants in his Twitter lottery, which he launched ostensibly in celebration of his company’s successful spring sale. The promotion will see Maezawa give away a total of 10 billion yen ($92 million).

“Zozotown Spring Sale is the fastest in history and topped 10 billion yen!! 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!”

Maezawa found fortune in fashion, accumulating an estimated personal wealth of $3 billion. He will be the first private passenger to be flown around the moon by SpaceX some time in 2023 and plans to bring a group of artists with him.

He is also the owner of several original Picassos, Bugattis, as well as a 1717 Stradivarius violin. The billionaire tweeted a photo of a man riding a rocket in an homage to the wildly popular Steven Spielberg film ET to accompany the unexpected giveaway. His followers surged from just over 500,000 to over 4.27 million in the wake of the most viral of tweets.

Not missing a beat, electronics company Sharp seized the viral moment to make their own, tongue-in-cheek tweet off the back of Maezawa’s giveaway.

“With our gratitude, we would be grateful if many more than 100 people could buy ¥1 million of products (totalling ¥10 billion). The application method doesn’t involve having to RT or follow us, you can just buy it from any store. Taking applications forever.”

Also on rt.com Chicken supreme: #NuggsForCarter rules roost, beats Ellen’s retweet record

Maezawa’s January 5 tweet has become the most retweeted of all time, beating stiff competition from US teenager Carter Wilkinson, who launched the viral 2017 “Nuggs for Carter” campaign to get a year’s free chicken nuggets from fast-food chain Wendy’s.

“18 million,” the fast-food company wryly responded to Wilkinson’s query. While Wilkinson fell well short of the spoof goal, managing to garner a still-impressive 3.5 million retweets, Wendy’s decided to give him the free chicken anyway, presumably in thanks for all the publicity.

Before Wilkinson, the leading tweet was actor and presenter Ellen DeGeneres’ viral selfie with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie from the 2014 Academy Awards.

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