May 7, 1998
- Known For:
Creator of MrBeast YouTube Channel
About Jimmy Donaldson
Jimmy Donaldson, widely recognized as MrBeast, was born on May 7, 1998, in Wichita, Kansas. He grew up in a middle-class family in Greenville, North Carolina. His parents served in the military and worked long hours; they later divorced in 2007. Dolandson attended Greenville Christian Academy for high school and then East Carolina University, but later dropped out. He reportedly told his mother, “I’d rather be poor than do anything besides YouTube.”
He started posting videos on YouTube at age 13, using the handle “MrBeast6000.” His initial videos primarily involved “Let’s Play” videos, or video game playthroughs, and other random content.
Over time, Dolandson began diversifying his content, dabbling in things like “worst intros” on YouTube and other comedic critique videos. He went viral for the first time in 2017, when he counted to 100,000 in a video. Eventually, he transitioned into the more large-scale, philanthropic and “challenge” videos for which he’s now famous.
While MrBeast is now a household name in the YouTube community and has amassed millions of subscribers, his journey to the top was filled with trials, errors, and learning experiences. The foundation of his success lies in his persistence, willingness to adapt, and genuine drive to entertain and make a positive impact.
Donaldson has eight YouTube channels, including his main channel MrBeast, plus MrBeast Shorts, MrBeast Gaming, Beast Reacts, and Beast Philanthropy.
One of the secrets to Donaldson’s success is his unique approach to the YouTube algorithm. Beginning in his teenage years, he started studying what makes for a successful YouTube video. He tried different video concepts and analyzed the kind of topics that tend to be promoted by YouTube’s recommendation engine. He paid special attention to maximizing his click-through rate with effective video titles, topics, and thumbnails. This understanding, combined with his innate creativity and drive, allowed him to produce viral hits consistently.
In the early years of Donaldson’s success as MrBeast, he created many competition videos that involved influencers. He rose to fame from 2017 to 2020 with several videos that included large cash prizes. By 2022, Donaldson surpassed 100 million YouTube subscribers for his main MrBeast channel and achieved the Guinness World Record of “Most Subscribers for an Individual Male on YouTube.”
Over time, Donaldson became known for his generosity and creativity, and his channel has garnered a massive following on YouTube. With his influence, MrBeast has brought attention to both online entertainment and significant charitable endeavors.
- Giving Away Large Sums of Money: MrBeast became known as the “YouTube Philanthropist” when he began giving away tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to strangers, friends, and charitable causes. He has given away cars, private island getaways, PS4 gaming systems, cash prizes, and more. One of his most-watched videos was when 32 influencers played “rock, paper, scissors” for a grand prize of $250,000. He recreated the popular Netflix show Squid Game and gave a prize of $456,000.
- Challenges: He often organizes competitions where participants have to be the last to leave a certain place or situation to win large amounts of money. For example, “Last To Take Hand Off House Keeps It,” “Last to Leave Circle Wins $10,000,” and “7 Days Stranded at Sea.”
- Random Acts of Kindness: MrBeast has purchased everything in a store and given it away, tipped servers thousands of dollars, and more. One of his most well-known videos is one of Donaldson “curing” 1,000 people’s blindness by paying for their eye surgeries. In another recent video, Donaldson paid for a free children’s hospital.
Donaldson has won several Streamy and Shorty Awards for his MrBeast YouTube content, as well as a Kids’ Choice Award for “Favorite Male Creator” in 2022.
Donaldson has also ventured into the business world, including his own chain of burger restaurants called “MrBeast Burger,” which operates on a delivery-only model and launched in 2020, and a chocolate business called Feastables that launched in 2022.
Beyond just one-off video challenges, MrBeast has led significant charitable projects. One of the most notable is his “Team Trees” initiative, in which he collaborated with fellow YouTuber Mark Rober to create a fundraiser that raised more than $23 million to plant over 24 million trees.
Donaldson also launched a fundraising campaign called “Team Seas,” which raised funds for Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup. As of August 2023, Team Seas has removed over 33 million pounds of trash from the ocean.
Jimmy Dolandson Today
Donaldson continues to create MrBeast content, with 746 videos posted on his main page to date. He currently has an average of over 46 million channel views per day and continues to gain popularity.
Donaldson lives and creates content in North Carolina, with two filming studios in Greenville. He also travels the world to create new videos.
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- MrBeast. (2021, November 24). $456,000 Squid Game In Real Life! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e3GPea1Tyg
- MrBeast. (2019, January 8). Last To Take Hand Off House Keeps It! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaxhLbxZ13k
- MrBeast. (2018, October 12). Last To Leave Circle Wins $10,000 – Challenge [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz3yak1cl-8
- MrBeast. (2023, August 5). 7 Days Stranded At Sea [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhB3BgJyGl8
- MrBeast. (2023a, January 28). 1,000 Blind People See For The First Time [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ2ifmkGGus
- Beast Philanthropy. (2023, July 30). We paid for a free children’s hospital [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMyCKvynGZ4
- Home | MrBeast Burger. (n.d.). MrBeast Burger. https://www.mrbeastburger.com/
- Help us plant 24 million trees – join #TeamTrees. (n.d.). https://teamtrees.org/
- Help us remove 30 million pounds of trash by January 1st, 2022 – Join #TeamSeas. (n.d.). https://teamseas.org/
- Cheong, C. (2023, May 27). Inside MrBeast’s “top secret” filming studio, which the YouTuber said is worth over $14 million. Insider. https://www.insider.com/photos-inside-mrbeasts-14-million-top-secret-filming-studio-2023-5
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