Carter Wilkerson may be 15 million retweets short of his goal, but Wendy’s is giving him the benefit of the doubt.
The fast food chain announced Tuesday it had awarded Wilkerson free chicken nuggets for a year and made a $100,000 donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation in his name after his tweet became the most retweeted of all-time.
Wilkerson set the internet ablaze in April, when he tweeted at Wendy’s notoriously cheeky Twitter account and asked what it would take to get free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy’s told him he would get his chicken if he received 18 million retweets — no small feat, considering that, at the time, no tweet had received more than 3.4 million retweets.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
Wilkerson’s tweet, with the caption “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS” quickly went viral, earning more than 2 million retweets in just more than a week. Ellen DeGeneres, who’s selfie at the 2014 Oscars held the record for the most retweets at the time, discussed Wilkerson’s tweet on her talk show.
On Tuesday, Wilkerson’s tweet reached 3.4 million retweets, surpassing DeGeneres’ record for most retweets of all time. Wendy’s tweeted the feat was “good for the nuggets,” and also threw in the massive donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation — a charity started by the restaurant’s founder.
Wilkerson is pictured in the tweet holding a stack of gift cards, which is presumably enough to provide him with chicken nuggets for the rest of 2017 and the first few months of 2018.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 9, 2017
However, Wilkerson may have something to lose by surpassing Ellen. On her TV show in April, DeGeneres gave Wilerson a year’s supply of Ellen underwear and a 55-inch Roku TV with the caveat that he not surpass her retweets.
"Carter, I will come to your house, I will take that TV back, I will take the underwear back, and I'll ... do more," she said.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.