Northern Nevada Teen Making National Headlines
Twitter’s “nugget boy” is about to make history and is using his new fame for a good cause
By Nathaniel Perez, reporter with the Reynolds School of Journalism
Everyone has dreams. Some strive to become doctors or lawyers, but one northern Nevada teen is going for it all. Chicken Nuggets.
Carter Wilkerson, 16, is one Reno local who is getting close to breaking the record for the most retweeted tweet after tweeting to the fast-food restaurant, Wendy’s, for free chicken nuggets for a year.
On April 5, 2017, Wilkerson tweeted asking “How many retweets for free chicken nuggets for a year,” and Wendy’s replied and said he needed 18 million retweets for it to happen. He simply said “consider it done” and asked for peers to help him.
Now, the tweet has gone viral with over 3 million retweets.
“I wasn’t even expecting Wendy’s to reply, I was just thinking it was going to be funny…I was only expecting retweets from my friend but then it just blew up and now I’m the 2nd most retweeted person of all time,” Wilkerson said to WolfPackWhat during an interview.
Wilkerson has had a ton of support from the Reno community in trying to receive his free nuggets. Circus Circus, and the University of Nevada, Reno have shared their support by backing the tweet.
The Peppermill Casino held a meet and greet for Wilkerson as a way to help him gain more retweets and for people to meet the new public figure. Each person was given a $20 in arcade play as a thank you for their support to Wilkerson.
“I think it’s so cool the attention he has gotten he has received. It’s just amazing how Twitter is used to connect everyone and to see someone from Reno blow up and go viral is just so cool. I hope he gets his nuggets,” said Kasey Grable, a math major at the University of Nevada Reno who attended the meet and greet.
Along with getting a community acknowledgment, Wilkerson has also received national recognition. He has received support from celebrities like Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and from companies like Google, Twitter, and Microsoft.
“We have been packed full with events and interviews… I’ve been wiped out after a sting of early morning or middle of the night international interviews with him,” explained Wilkerson’s publicist, Brooke Brumfield.
Due to the popularity of the chicken nugget tweet, Wilkerson has become a new public figure. He has been recently verified on Twitter and now has over 100,000 followers.
He was able to get the attention of his Twitter competition, and recently did an interview with her. He spoke with Ellen DeGeneres, who currently holds the record for the most retweeted tweet of all time with her 2014 Oscar selfie that holds 3.4 million retweets. Ellen had Wilkerson on her show to discuss their Twitter competition and the possibility of him breaking her record. Wilkerson is close to breaking the record as his tweet is currently a little over 25,000 retweets from surpassing Ellen.
With his new public forum, Wilkerson has been able to use his fame for good. He had t-shirts made to help support him that said “#nuggsforcarter”, which is his famous hashtag that is trending on Twitter.
The proceeds were originally to go to “Mom’s On the Run”, which is a non-profit organization that raises funds to assist northern Nevada women with everyday living expenses while in they are in treatment for breast & gynecological cancers.
With the help of Wendy’s, Wilkerson was able to go bigger with his drive to give back. The teen has partnered with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which is a non-profit that is dedicated to finding homes for children in foster care.
After Wilkerson’s guest appearance on Ellen, Wendy’s tweeted that they will donate $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation once the “nuggs for Carter” tweet breaks the record for the most retweeted tweet of all time.
As Wilkerson continues to stack up retweets, there are some individuals that just don’t want to help the teen break the record.
“If I’m being honest, I could care less. Sure it’s cool to see someone from Reno in the lime light, but for chicken nuggets that aren’t even that great? It’s dumb. I think it’s cool that he’s donating to charity but the fact Wendy’s will only donate if he breaks the record is so ridiculous. It just seems like some overrated marketing scheme and it’ll die soon like every trend does,” said Conner Hirschman, a biology major at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Though some people may think this is getting too much attention, there’s no stopping this northern Nevada teen on his quest to get his Nuggets.
Mini Profile on Carter Wilkerson
Get to know Twitter’s “Nugget Boy”, Carter Wilkerson
Ellen DeGeneres is about to loose her title for being the most retweeted person on Twitter due to one Reno local’s love for nuggets.
Carter Wilkerson is about to break the record for the most retweets after tweeting Wendy’s to see how many retweets it would take for him to earn free chicken nuggets for a year.
Wilkerson, 16, was born and raised in Reno, Nevada is currently a junior at Bishop Manogue High School.
Something that started as a joke, ended up turning into something huge. Wilkerson didn’t expect the tweet to blow up like it did. He was doing it as a joke and just found it funny of him asking.
Then once he tweeted it, he woke up with over 50,000 retweets, and from there it just kept growing. Now, Wilkerson has over 3 million retweets and over 100,000 followers.
With his new fame, Wilkerson has decided to use to help out with charity.
Wilkerson had “#nuggsfocarter” t-shirts made as a way for people to help support him and his charity. Originally, the proceeds were to go to “Mom’s On the Run”, which is a non-profit organization that raises funds to assist northern Nevada women with everyday living expenses while in they are in treatment for breast & gynecological cancers.
Wilkerson chose this charity because when he was 9, his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was able to bet it, and her story is what inspired Wilkerson to help give back to the community.
Nevada state officials have backed Wilkerson in his mission on beating Ellen’s record and so has the local community. Many recently met the teen at the Peppermill, where they were able to talk and take pictures with Wilkerson.
This whole experience has been very humbling for him and his journey of getting his nuggets is just starting.
Screenshot by Nathaniel Perez