The game kicked off at 3PM ET on Tuesday June 30th. More than one million people started.
But by Friday, after 70 hours, a winner had still not been decided; so MrBeast upped the prize to $80k and split it between the last reaming four.
"Dear the four remaining contestants with your finger still on the app, I’m ending it here. Three days is insane!," he tweeted. "You ALL win and will ALL receive $20,0000! CONGRATULATIONS!" (he later apologized for the extra zero)
Dear the four remaining contestants with your finger still on the app, I’m ending it here. Three days is insane! You ALL win and will ALL receive $20,0000! CONGRATULATIONS!
The YouTuber has spent well over $100k on the stunt; as the number of finalists dwindled, he bribed some of them into taking their fingers off for up to $10k a pop.
On his twitter account he posted screengrabs of text negotiations with people in the final ten; one person was offered $5k, came back with a counter offer or $12.5k (presumably using his free hand on a separate phone) before finally settling on $10k.
The final ten were all live streaming their progress; here is the moment the tenth-last player was bought off for five grand:
Offered him $5,000 and he took his finger off the app!
To ensure the winner didn't "just duct tape their hand to the phone", Donaldson programmed the app to require players to occasionally move their fingers on the screen in a certain way.
Even when he made his cash offer to the final four, one of them suspected a trap, theorizing during his live stream that if three took their fingers off, only one would be given the prize.
But MrBeast assured his followers it was a four-way tie in the end.
Proclaiming his delight that human players had won the cash rather than a bot, he revealed afterwards that some cheaters had tried to pull a fast one.
"All 4 winners have been contacted and will get their money," he tweeted. "Lots of people time traveled messing with their settings and are acting like they won. Don’t worry, we confirmed the actual winners thru the backend and they have all been contacted."