Who is Mr. Beast: Biography, Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth. Photo: ONE Esports
Who is Mr. Beast: Biography, Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth. Photo: ONE Esports

Jimmy Donaldson (born May 7, 1998), better known as MrBeast, is an American YouTuber, Internet personality, businessman, and philanthropist. He has been credited with pioneering a genre of YouTube videos that centers on expensive stunts. Here are his biography, career, personal life and net worth.

Who is Jimmy Donaldson?

Photo: Rolling Stone
Photo: Rolling Stone

Mr Beast is the pseudonym of Jimmy Donaldson, a popular social media star. With more than 47.8 million subscribers on his self-titled channel, Mr Beast is one of the most popular YouTube stars in the United States of America. He first gained prominence as a YouTuber when he posted a video series titled ‘Worst Intros on YouTube,’ but his popularity reached newer heights when he started posting unique videos that no one else had seen or heard before. He pioneered a genre of YouTube videos that center on expensive stunts. Mr Beast is also popular on other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Early Life And Education

Donaldson was born on May 7, 1998, in the state of Kansas. Donaldson was mainly raised alongside his brother CJ in Greenville, North Carolina. In 2016, Donaldson graduated from Greenville Christian Academy, a private secondary school in the area. He briefly attended East Carolina University before dropping out. Donaldson suffers from Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition.

Career And Achievements

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Early viral attempts (2012–2017)

Donaldson uploaded his first YouTube video in February 2012, at the age of 13, under the handle "MrBeast6000"; his early content ranged from Let's Plays (mainly focused on Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2), videos estimating the wealth of other YouTubers, videos that offered tips to upcoming YouTube creators, and commentary on YouTube drama. During this early period of his channel, Donaldson himself made few appearances in his videos. In July 2013, the subscriber count of his channel, then named "That-dude", was around 240.

In 2015 and 2016, Donaldson began to gain popularity on the platform due to his "worst intros" series of videos, which rounded up and poked fun at YouTuber introductions he discovered on the site. By mid-2016, Donaldson had around 30,000 subscribers. In fall 2016, Donaldson dropped out of East Carolina University to pursue a full-time career as a YouTuber. His mother did not approve of this, and made him move out of the family home.

As his channel grew Donaldson was able to hire four of his childhood friends – Chris Tyson, Chandler Hallow, Garrett Ronalds, and Jake Franklin – to work for him and the channel, which has led to them being regularly shown in his videos. They then contacted numerous YouTubers in order to obtain statistics of their successful videos and predicting the platform's recommendation system.

Rise to fame (2017–2020)

In January 2017, Donaldson published an almost day-long video of himself counting to 100,000. The stunt took him 40 hours, with some parts sped up to "keep it under 24 hours." A subsequent video titled "Counting to 200,000 (Road to a Mil)" was uploaded the next month, although, according to Donaldson, it too had to be sped up because the full fifty-five hours of counting exceeded YouTube's upload limit. Donaldson also gained popularity during this period with stunts, such as attempting to break glass using a hundred megaphones, watching paint dry for an hour, attempting to stay underwater for 24 hours (which ended up failing due to health issues), and an unsuccessful attempt to spin a fidget spinner for a day. By 2018, Donaldson had given out $1 million through his outlandish stunts, which earned him the title of "YouTube's biggest philanthropist."

During PewDiePie vs T-Series in 2018, a competition to become the most-subscribed channel on YouTube, Donaldson bought billboards and numerous television and radio advertisements to help PewDiePie gain more subscribers than T-Series. During Super Bowl LIII, he bought multiple seats for himself and his team, whose shirts spelled out "Sub 2 PewDiePie."

In March 2019, Donaldson organized and filmed a real-life battle royale competition in Los Angeles with a prize of $200,000 (2 games were played, making game earnings of $100,000 for each game) in collaboration with Apex Legends. The event and prize pool was sponsored by Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts.

Donaldson was accused of using counterfeit money in his video titled "I Opened A FREE BANK", published on November 23, 2019. He later explained that he used fake money to mitigate the potential safety and security risks caused by a rush of people clamoring to get the free money, and claimed that he exchanged the counterfeit bills for a real check for everyone afterwards.

In April 2020, Donaldson created a rock, paper, scissors competition stream that featured 32 influencers and a grand prize of $250,000, which at the time became YouTube's most-watched live Original event with 662,000 concurrent viewers. The event was ultimately won by Nadeshot. In October 2020, Donaldson hosted another influencer tournament featuring 24 competitors with a grand prize of $300,000. The tournament was ultimately won by the D'Amelio family, which caused controversy due to claims that they cheated.

Profitability (2021–present)

On January 1, 2021, Donaldson released the video "Youtube Rewind 2020, Thank God It's Over". He previously announced in November 2020 that he would be making a Rewind days after YouTube announced that they would not be making one. In Donaldson's video, he explains that he had always believed that YouTubers "should get more say in Rewind," and with this in mind, he decided to call "hundreds of YouTubers." At the end of the video, Donaldson gives a shoutout to PewDiePie, citing him and his 2018 Rewind as the inspiration for Donaldson's Rewind.

In February 2021, Donaldson made a guest appearance on the Clubhouse app, causing it to crash. A month later, Donaldson signed a deal with Jellysmack which allows the company to exclusively manage distribution of his video content on Snapchat and Facebook.

In November 2021, Donaldson uploaded a recreation of the survival drama streaming television series Squid Game in real life, in which 456 people competed for a $456,000 cash prize, without the violence in the show. The video has more than 243 million views as of April 21, 2022, making it Donaldson’s most viewed YouTube video and also making it one of the most-watched YouTube videos of 2021.

In December 2021, Donaldson created a third influencer tournament featuring 15 competitors with a grand prize of $1,000,000. The tournament took place in person at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and the challenge consisted of two rounds. The first round of the tournament featured 10 different challenges between 15 competitors, and the second round featured 10 winners from the first round competing in a hide-and-seek competition. The tournament was ultimately won by Zach King.

In January 2022, Forbes ranked MrBeast as YouTube's highest earning creator, earning an estimated $54 million in 2021. Forbes also stated that his income in 2021 would have placed him 40th in the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, earning as much money as Vin Diesel and Lewis Hamilton did in 2020.


Photo: News18
Photo: News18

1. Beast Reacts

MrBeast made a second channel for watching and reviewing lifehacks called Beast Reacts. This channel mostly stars his friends, but he has appeared on it multiple times.

The Beast Reacts channel was originally called Mr.Beast. He later changed it to its current name so it could be searched for easier.

In March 2021, the profile picture was changed to resemble the icon of the gaming channel, except with the main color being pink instead of blue. On March 21, 2021, MrBeast revived the channel and uploaded Water Balloons in Slow Motion!.

2. MrBeast Gaming

In April 2020, he started a gaming channel named MrBeast Gaming, releasing 2 to 3 videos every week. It has 11.3 million subscribers as of December 2020, making it one of the fastest-growing channels in terms of subscriber count. It acts as a successor to his older gaming videos on his main channel. MrBeast's friends Chris, Chandler, and Karl, usually appear in these videos. The game that is mainly played on this channel is Minecraft, but the crew plays other games like Grand Theft Auto V, Among Us, Fall Guys, and more.

3. MrBeast Shorts

Jimmy also has a MrBeast Shorts channel where he uploads vertical clips that last less than a minute. These clips show him and his friends doing random things. These types of videos are shown in the "Short Videos" panel.

4. MrBeast 2

It is an alternative channel of MrBeast for miscellaneous videos. This channel only has the MrBeast Riddle and a live stream of him signing shirts for 6 hours straight.

5. Beast Philanthropy

Beast Philanthropy is a channel where all ad revenue, merchandise sales and sponsorships will go towards a food bank.

6. Don't Subscribe

Along with UK YouTuber JackSucksAtLife he created the channel Don't Subscribe. He gives ten cents to Jack for every subscriber. The challenge is up to 1,000,000 subscribers or $100,000. Although there is no videos on the channel, Jack has made a lot of videos promoting the channel.

MrBeast's 2020 YouTube Rewind

On November 17, 2020, MrBeast announced that he was going to make his own YouTube Rewind due to YouTube cancelling their annual Rewind that year. MrBeast also said that if other YouTubers wanted to come and help, they could reply to him on Twitter. After 1 month, MrBeast released his own YouTube Rewind on January 1, 2021, titled "Youtube Rewind 2020, Thank God It's Over".

It featured many notable YouTubers giving their thoughts about what should be in MrBeast's Rewind, and their thoughts about the worst events of 2020. In addition, there were tributes to some celebrities who passed away in 2020, such as Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Alex Trebek. There was also a so-called "face reveal" which had been teased by Dream on his Twitter prior to the release of the Rewind, though his face was not shown, instead being hidden under a mask.


Photo: EarlyGame
Photo: EarlyGame

In 2018, a YouTuber named FlyyDoesYT accused Mr Beast of faking his videos. The 25 minute-long video, which was full of accusations was taken seriously by many, as FlyyDoesYT had worked for Mr Beast for a week as an editor.

According to fellow YouTuber’s video, Mr Beast was accused of mistreating his employees by asking them to film his videos. He had also stated that Mr Beast pretends in front of the camera, and it is not his real self.

Mr Beast responded to the accusations by tweeting that he had given away lots of money for real and that he was not faking anything in front of the camera. He said ‘FlyyDoesYT’ or anyone for that matter is free to walk up to those who had received the money and ask them if they had received it for real.

He also rubbished the accusation which claimed that he was mistreating his employees by saying that he is suffering from Crohn's disease and that whenever he doesn’t feel well, he asks his employees to help complete the videos.

Personal Life

Photo: The Verge
Photo: The Verge

Mr Beast is close to his mother, who has appeared in a couple of his videos. One of his videos titled Giving My Mom $100,000 (Proudest Day of My Life) has so far gathered more than 22 million views. She has featured in some of his prank video as well.

Mr Beast graduated from the Greenville Christian Academy in 2016 and dropped out of college in order to pursue a full-time career as a YouTuber. He has an elder brother named CJ Donaldson, who is also a YouTuber and runs a channel named MrBro. Mr Beast suffers from Crohn’s disease. He is currently in relationship with Instagram model Maddy Spidell.

Mr Beast is quite vocal about his political views. In 2016, he had made many comedic videos on Donald Trump. Mr Beast is a philanthropist and is quite generous when it comes to helping those around him.

Net Worth

Currently, he has an estimated net worth of around 25+ million dollars (currently; number may vary). In many of his videos, he budgets hundreds and thousands of dollars, but of course, it depends on the video, like if he is buying something expensive, donating a lot of money to people, or hosting a challenge with his friends; it all requires a large amount of money. According to a Colin and Samir interview, he and his team have spent a total of $50 million a year investing in his videos and this number tends to increase as MrBeast receives more popularity. Moreover, a MrBeast staff member confirmed that in the more recent videos of the main channel, they spend around $350,000 to a million dollars per video. He has several sources of income: he generates money from the advertisements that can be found on his YouTube videos on his main and gaming channels, he also gains money from sponsors (Quidd, Honey, etc.) as well as merchandise from ShopMrBeast, he is gaining a bit of extra income from MrBeast Burger.

Investments and partnerships

Donaldson is an investor in the tech startup Backbone, which produces the Backbone One, a controller that makes smartphones appear more similar to Nintendo Switch controllers, and the Backbone app, a content creation and social tools app for its users.

In March 2021, Donaldson partnered with Creative Juice financial network to introduce Juice Funds, a $2 million investment fund that offers creators up to $250,000 in exchange for equity in their YouTube channels.

In April 2021, Donaldson became a long-term investor and partner of financial technology company Current. The same month, Donaldson received backlash after fans lost large amounts of money in a cryptocurrency scheme that Donaldson had invested in and promoted.

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