The Incredible Journey Of MrBeast: YouTube's Reigning King

Irrespective of where you are in the world, chances are that you've heard of a YouTuber names MrBeast. But chances are that you don't know answers to questions like how he started, what it took to become an internet phenomenon, and what his journey looks like. 

To find answers to such questions, let's look at the incredible journey of Jimmy Donaldson, popularly known as MrBeastYouTube’s reigning king. The legendary icon, known for engaging videos and remarkable philanthropy, has revolutionized online entertainment and left a meaningful imprint on the world

Discover how this YouTube sensation has transformed lives, one video at a time.

What Happened: In the dynamic realm of YouTube, a few names stand out, and one of them is MrBeast. Born as Jimmy Donaldson, he has carved a niche for himself as a YouTube sensation with his unique content that ranges from mind-boggling challenges to lavish giveaways

However, what truly sets MrBeast apart is his unique content and his commitment to philanthropy and altruistic initiatives — from funding hundreds of eye surgeries to donating millions to food banks. He has not only revolutionized digital media but also brought about tangible change in the world.

Here's a comprehensive overview of how this seemingly innocent and normal kid turned his and the life of people around him by building an unparalleled kingdom simply by creating content. 

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Let's Start With The Start: Early Life And Education

Born on May 7, 1998, in Greenville, North Carolina, Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, developed an early interest in digital media. He was always driven by a desire to stand out, propelling him to venture into the world of YouTube at the tender age of 13. His early years on the platform were marked by a period of exploration and learning. 

Donaldson graduated in 2016 from a private high school in Greenville and later reportedly enrolled in a college, although details regarding his higher education are relatively unknown. In 2019, MrBeast publicly admitted to dropping out of college after lasting there only two weeks. 

This Is Where It All Started: YouTube Career And History In The Making 

Donaldson started his YouTube journey in 2012, MrBeast made his mark by experimenting with a wide array of content, from gaming videos to outrageous challenges, before finding his niche in philanthropic endeavors and viral stunts.

After facing some initial failures, he finally got a breakthrough in 2015 and 2016. During these years, he started amassing a dedicated fan base due to a series of videos titled "worst intros." In these videos, Donaldson used to mock the introductions of fellow YouTubers playfully he stumbled upon on the platform. As a result, by the end of the following year, the YouTuber had successfully garnered around 30,000 subscribers, marking a significant milestone in his online journey. 

How MrBeast's Empire Has Grown: A Look 

Since his humble beginnings, MrBeast has established diverse video formats that serve as the primary content pillars on his YouTube channel. These include his signature endurance-based challenges, often referred to as “junklord YouTube” where he pushes himself through exhausting and hours-long stunts. 

Additionally, he organizes captivating “last-person-to-leave” challenges involving substantial cash giveaways amounting to thousands of dollars. The titles of these videos range from “Going Through the Same Drive Thru 1,000 Times” to “Last To Remove Hand, Gets Lamborghini Challenge.”

Moreover, MrBeast showcases his philanthropic side through attention-grabbing donations and charity endeavors. Notably, he once operated a car dealership where he generously gifted cars. Beyond that, he consistently contributes significant amounts of money to small streamers on platforms like Twitch and YouTube and personally rewards waitresses and Uber drivers with substantial tips.

Donaldson's unpredictable yet entertaining videos have earned him a whopping 150 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel as of May 2023​​. At the time of writing, the YouTuber had 163 million subscribers on his main channel on the platform. 

Let's Start Counting The Key Milestones Of His YouTube Career

Throughout his journey, MrBeast has achieved countless milestones. Besides his primary channel, he currently operates several other accounts, including Beast Philanthropy, MrBeast Gaming, Beast Reacts, and MrBeast 2. Collectively, these channels boast over 260 million subscribers, contributing significantly to his yearly revenue​. 

His most viewed video, featuring a real-life “Squid Game” themed challenge, has so far garnered a staggering 449 million views​​.

The Videos That Exemplify MrBeast's Defining Moments As A YouTube Star 

MrBeast experienced a meteoric rise in popularity starting in early 2017. His videos grew larger and more ambitious, captivating a growing audience. Initially, Donaldson released 12-hour videos where he performed lengthy but mundane tasks, such as reading the entire dictionary. Over time, he transitioned to more extravagant and physically demanding stunt performances.

Donaldson’s defining moments on YouTube are marked by his grand-scale challenge videos that push boundaries in terms of scale, endurance, and cost. Examples include “Paying People $10,000 To Eat Ghost Pepper,” “I Bought Everything In A Store,” and “Last To Remove Hand, Wins House.” 

His impact on YouTube has been significant, as his extravagant challenges and sponsor-driven money giveaways became an instant sensation. However, Donaldson’s influence extended beyond challenges. He popularized formats where creators purchase excessive amounts of a product and use them absurdly. For example, his video titled “I Put Millions of Pennies in My Friend’s Backyard” gained substantial popularity.

This video style, referred to as “junklord YouTube” by Anthony Padilla, co-founder of Smosh, involved creators investing exorbitant amounts of money in absurd quantities of products solely for one video. The extravagance and peculiarity of these videos attracted curious viewers.

As Minecraft gained prominence on the platform, non-gaming creators sought ways to generate views. Some creators shifted their focus to become drama vloggers or commentators. 

MrBeast’s success has demonstrated the viability of this model, but replicating it may prove more challenging now that it has become a popular approach. As Wilson, a YouTube commentator, stated, “No one is doing it bigger or better than him.”

Because There Cannot Ever Be Enough Philanthropic Initiatives

MrBeast’s philanthropy is at the core of his online persona. He has made significant contributions to charitable causes, including funding the eye surgeries of 1,000 blind people and donating 20,000 pairs of shoes to children in Africa. His philanthropic endeavors have won him millions of fans worldwide and brought about real, positive change, proving the transformative power of online communities​​.

Why Stop At One Place, When You Can Have It All: MrBeast Business Ventures

Beyond YouTube, MrBeast has capitalized on his fame and ventured into the business world. He launched ‘MrBeast Burger,’ a virtual restaurant chain that quickly gained popularity thanks to his massive fanbase. For the uninitiated, MrBeast Burger was a ghost kitchen falling under the MrBeast umbrella that opened its first physical store in the American Dream Mall in New Jersey. 

Although it is pertinent to note here that earlier this month, Donaldson hinted that MrBeast Burer, the once-burgeoning fast food sensation, plans on calling it quits. MrBeast said he could not guarantee the quality of orders when collaborating with other restaurants. 

Additionally, the social media sensation admitted that despite the burger's success, he has far more passion for creating snacks, leading him to focus on Feastables.

The YouTuber starred Feastables brand in 2022. It was primarily founded as a chocolate company but has since expanded into cookies, merchandise, and more. 

Nothing Can Stop Me Or Can It? Controversies And Challenges

Despite his overwhelming success, MrBeast’s journey has not been devoid of challenges or controversies. In 2018, a series of now-deleted tweets from MrBeast surfaced, revealing his use of homophobic slurs and making jokes that trivialized being gay. 

MrBeast's Twitter bio at the time included the phrase, “just because I’m gai doesn’t mean I’m gay.” While MrBeast defended himself by asserting that he did not find his actions offensive, critics found his remarks problematic, according to The Atlantic. 

Additionally, MrBeast has faced accusations of distributing counterfeit money. In a video released in November 2019, skeptics discovered that the bills used were not legal tender. MrBeast later explained that he deliberately handed out fake bills to avoid the potential dangers of a chaotic rush of people scrambling for free money. 

He further stated that he subsequently replaced the counterfeit bills with genuine checks for the individuals featured in the video, reported Dexerto. 

Vantage View

From a small town in North Carolina to the pinnacle of YouTube stardom, MrBeast’s journey is a testament to the power of creativity, persistence, and altruism. His unique blend of entertainment and philanthropy has revolutionized online entertainment and positively impacted countless lives. 

As he continues to evolve and innovate, it’s exciting to speculate where his journey will take him next. 

Editor’s Note: Artificial intelligence was used as a secondary aid in writing this story.

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