MrBeast’s Net Worth: Rise of YouTube Star Who Gives Away Millions of Dollars to Strangers

5 months ago

Meet Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, the 25-year-old YouTube sensation. He’s not just another content creator, he’s one of the most-watched and highest-earning folks on the platform. In his early days, Donaldson gained widespread attention with viral videos that involved undertaking remarkable challenges, such as reading the entire dictionary or counting from zero to 100,000 continuously for 40 hours.

But here’s the cool part — lately, he’s become the philanthropy king of YouTube. A notable example is a video in which he “cures” the blindness of 1,000 people by covering the expenses for their eye surgeries. Thanks to his daring challenges and generous giveaways, MrBeast has successfully amassed a staggering 234 million subscribers on his channel, making him the most subscribed creator in the history of YouTube.


James Stephen Donaldson, born on May 7, 1998, hails from Wichita, Kansas, and spent most of his childhood in Greenville, North Carolina, under the care of his mother, Sue Donaldson. Life wasn’t static for him; frequent moves and long working hours for his parents, who were in the military, led to him being looked after by au pairs. Unfortunately, his parents went through a divorce in 2007.

In 2016, James graduated from Greenville Christian Academy, a cozy private evangelical Christian high school in the region. Although he initially enrolled at East Carolina University, he decided to drop out shortly after. What followed was an intriguing chapter in his life.

Post-dropout, James and his buddies delved into the mysteries of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. Their mission? Decode the secrets to creating videos that would go viral. James vividly remembers this period, saying, “There’s a five-year point in my life where I was just relentlessly, unhealthily obsessed with studying virality, studying the YouTube algorithm. I woke up, Uber Eats food, and then spent the entire day on my computer studying nonstop with other YouTubers.”

Quite the journey from school to a self-made YouTube expert! At this time, Jimmy had no idea that one day the most influential journals would write articles with the title MrBeast’s Net Worth.

Uploaded his first video, when he was just 13 years old.

Back in 2012, at the tender age of 13, Donaldson dipped his toes into the YouTube waters, adopting the moniker “MrBeast6000.” His early videos were a mixed bag — ranging from Let’s Plays with a focus on Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops II to estimating the wealth of fellow YouTubers, offering tips for aspiring creators, and chiming in on YouTube drama. In those early days, Donaldson himself didn’t feature prominently in those videos.

Fast-forward to 2016, and things started heating up for Donaldson. He made a splash on the YouTube scene with his “Worst intros on YouTube” series, playfully poking fun at video introductions. By mid-2016, he had amassed around 30,000 subscribers. That fall, Donaldson threw caution to the wind, dropped out of East Carolina University, and went full throttle into a career as a YouTuber. Mom wasn’t too thrilled about it, though; she gave him the boot from the family nest.

As his channel soared, Donaldson brought in some familiar faces — childhood buddies Kris Tyson, Chandler Hallow, Garrett Ronalds, and Jake Franklin. Franklin bid his farewells in 2020, making room for Karl Jacobs, who got the nod after starting as the cameraman. Quite the journey from dorm life to YouTube stardom with a crew of friends!

Meteoric rise on YouTube

In 2017, Jimmy did something wild — he filmed himself counting to 100,000 for almost a whole day! It took him a whopping 40 hours, and he even sped up some parts to “keep it under 24 hours.” This crazy video became his big breakthrough and shot him to internet stardom.

During this time, he pulled off all sorts of wild stunts, like trying to break glass with a hundred megaphones, attempting a 24-hour underwater challenge (which didn’t quite work out due to health issues), and an unsuccessful attempt to spin a fidget spinner for an entire day. By 2018, Donaldson had given away $1 million through his outrageous antics, earning him the title of “YouTube’s biggest philanthropist.”

In the epic battle between PewDiePie and T-Series for the most subscribers in 2018, Jimmy went all out. He bought billboards, aired TV and radio ads, and even took over multiple seats at Super Bowl LIII with his team, wearing shirts that said “Sub 2 PewDiePie.”

March 2019 brought a real-life battle royale competition organized by Donaldson in Los Angeles, with a whopping $200,000 prize (split into two games). Apex Legends joined the party as the event’s sponsor.

Then came a bit of controversy in November 2019 when Jimmy was accused of using fake money in a video titled “I Opened A FREE BANK.” He clarified that it was to ensure participant safety, and everyone got real checks after the shoot.

April 2020 saw Donaldson creatingrock, paper, scissors competition stream with 32 influencers, offering a grand prize of $250,000. It became YouTube’s most-watched live Original event at the time, with 662,000 concurrent viewers. The event was won by Nadeshot. Later in October 2020, Jimmy hosted a trivia tournament with 24 competitors and a grand prize of $300,000. The D’Amelio siblings, Charli and Dixie, took the win, sparking a bit of controversy with claims of cheating. It’s safe to say, MrBeast knows how to keep the internet buzzing!

Unparalleled subscriber growth

Come November 2021, MrBeast uploaded “$456,000 Squid Game in Real Life!” — a real-life rendition of the Squid Game series, attracting 456 participants competing for a $456,000 cash prize. The video quickly became one of 2021’s most-watched on YouTube, amassing over 130 million views within a week. Some critics argued it misunderstood Squid Game’s anti-capitalist message, but the show’s creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, responded positively.

In January 2022, Forbes crowned him YouTube’s highest-earning creator, estimating his 2021 earnings at $54 million — a sum that would have placed him 40th in the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100.

Fast-forward to 2022, and Donaldson reached a milestone, surpassing 100 million subscribers on his main channel — the fifth channel and second individual YouTuber to achieve this.

In 2022, he clinched the Guinness World Record for “Most Subscribers for an Individual Male on YouTube” with 112,193,139 subscribers on his MrBeast channel, surpassing PewDiePie’s almost ten-year record. In November, Donaldson amassed one billion video views in 30 days on his main YouTube channel.

In 2023, he soared past 200 million subscribers. His YouTube Shorts video, “Would You Fly To Paris For A Baguette?” holds the record as the most-watched video on his main channel, boasting over 1 billion views and 40 million likes as of January 2024.

How much has he earned on YouTube?

YouTube star became a sensation, securing a spot on the 2022 Forbes list as the highest-paid creator. MrBeast’s Net Worth is estimated at $500 million. Unsurprisingly, the primary source of his income is his YouTube channel, where a mix of ad revenue, sponsored content, and brand partnerships has transformed his passion into a thriving business. Each video serves as a valuable asset, contributing significantly to the exponential growth of his net worth.

Believe it or not, he rakes in a minimum of $3 million monthly just from YouTube ads, and that doesn’t even count the brand deals woven into his videos. What’s intriguing is that he funnels most of his earnings back into video production, often splurging up to $300,000 on a single video.

What sets MrBeast apart is his unique philanthropic touch. His stunts go beyond just entertainment, often involving acts of kindness like giving money to strangers or rescuing an entire shelter of dogs. It’s not just about the numbers; it’s about making a positive impact.

Expanding business ventures

Finger on the App

In June 2020, Donaldson collaborated with the Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF to launch a unique mobile game, Finger on the App. In this multiplayer game, players competed to keep their finger on the phone screen, with the last person standing winning $25,000. The game’s success led to a sequel, Finger on the App 2, which, after delays, featured a grand prize of $100,000. The winner endured 51 hours with their finger on the screen, earning the top prize, while the second-place finisher received $20,000.

MrBeast Burger

Venturing into the culinary realm, Donaldson expanded his ventures. In December 2020, he introduced MrBeast Burger, a virtual restaurant offering franchise rights to serve its burgers across the U.S. In August 2022, the first physical MrBeast Burger shop opened in the American Dream Mall near New York City.

However, by June 17, 2023, Donaldson expressed regret over MrBeast Burger, citing concerns about quality and an unfavorable deal with Virtual Dining Concepts, LLC. Despite his desire to shut it down, legal disputes with Virtual Dining Concepts ensued in July 2023, with Donaldson suing to end their partnership, claiming damage to his reputation and unpaid fees. Virtual Dining Concepts disputed the allegations, asserting Donaldson’s growth was tied to MrBeast Burger.

Feastables Chocolate

In January 2022, Donaldson ventured into the food industry again with Feastables, launching MrBeast Bars, a brand of chocolate bars. The launch included sweepstakes with over $1 million in prizes, culminating in a video where participants competed for a chocolate factory or a $500,000 cash prize. Michelin Star chef Gordon Ramsay judged the final challenge. Feastables reportedly earned $10 million in its initial months.

On March 3, 2023, Donaldson stirred controversy by asking fans to enhance the presentation of Feastables displays in stores and obscure competing products, offering entry into a $5,000 raffle as an incentive. This move faced criticism for potentially exploiting fans for unpaid labor.


Team Trees

Even though MrBeast’s Net Worth has reached an unprecedented size, he remains a human with a big heart.

In 2019, Jimmy and former NASA engineer Mark Rober joined forces for #TeamTrees, a YouTube fundraising challenge. The aim: raise $20 million for the Arbor Day Foundation by January 1, 2020, and plant trees by December 2022. Every dollar donated equaled one planted tree. Popular YouTubers like Rhett & Link, Marshmello, and others supported the cause.

By October 2019, tree planting began in US national parks. The project surpassed its goal on December 19, receiving notable donations from figures like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk. As of December 18, 2023, over 24.5 million trees have been planted.

Beast Philanthropy

On September 17, 2020, Beast Philanthropy was launched, with all revenue going to charity. Initiatives included gifting 10,000 turkeys to Greenville, donating 20,000 shoes to African children, building 100 wells for clean water access in Africa, and providing $300,000 worth of technology to schools.

Team Seas

In 2021, MrBeast and Rober initiated #TeamSeas, aiming to raise $30 million by January 1, 2022, for the Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup. The funds would aid in removing 30 million pounds of plastic from oceans. Collaborating with numerous content creators, they successfully engaged a global community of eight million creators to support the cause.

Personal life

MrBeast openly acknowledges his introverted disposition, linking it to his unwavering dedication to YouTube and a robust work ethic. His mother, Sue, ties his reserved lifestyle to the frequent relocations and his struggles with Crohn’s disease. In 2022, Jimmy opened up about living with this diagnosis, “I’m probably one of the least energetic people you’ll ever meet. I get tired very easily. I take a lot of naps and stuff like that.”

Having been in a relationship with YouTuber Maddy Spidell from 2019 to 2022, MrBeast is currently dating gaming streamer Thea Booysen. Since they’ve been together, viewers got a peek into MrBeast and his girlfriend’s life.

A recent shared photo unveiled the influencer’s transformed physique. The 25-year-old revealed his dedication to weightlifting for 10 months, coupled with a daily 12,000-step walk. Dietary adjustments and prioritizing a good night’s sleep played integral roles in his transformative journey. Summing it up, he humorously stated, “I’ve gone from obese to just lean,” expressing newfound respect for fitness enthusiasts and joking, “this takes forever lol.”

In a subsequent tweet, MrBeast celebrated an impressive 20% reduction in body fat since embarking on his weight loss journey. While teasing before-and-after pictures, he playfully added that eager fans would have to wait for another six months of dedicated gym efforts.

If you think it’s impossible to spend $650 million in 13 years, make sure to read our article to learn how Johnny Depp spent most of his fortune in just a few years.


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