“I can’t believe I just bought a private island!!!”
This is a direct quote found below one of MrBeast’s, or Jimmy Donaldson’s, most popular YouTube videos. The 22-year-old boasts a staggering following of 61 million subscribers.
His fame is primarily attributed to his random philanthropic works, including giving large sums of money to strangers for no reason. It sounds like a day-dream come true to most of us.
So, how does someone this young have all this wealth? We take a look at his family history to see if his parents were his golden ticket.
Growing Up in Greenville, South Carolina
MrBeast was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. The area, which has a slightly higher household income than the rest of the country, is known as an affluent area.
Although Donaldson was able to take advantage of the excellent schools completing his education at Greenville Christian Academy, he did not have the same experience as his wealthier peers.
He once highlighted in a story that indicated he was caught stealing money to purchase Yu-Gi-Oh cards. It isn’t clear if it was because he couldn’t afford the item, but it does show that a young MrBeast was not a spoiled child.
Although it’s not clear what Donaldson’s parents currently do for a living, it isn’t anything substantial to support his Youtube channel.
In an interview with The Verge, MrBeast states,
If you want the special secret, if you want to know where it all came from—my parents aren’t that rich, I’m only 20 years old, every dollar I made came from Youtube, and Youtube just pays better than you think.
To further support that MrBeast is not funded by rich parents, in one of his videos, he gifts his mother a check for one-hundred thousand dollars. At first, she is hesitant to take it, but Donaldson explains the money is to show his gratitude and add more views to his channel.
MrBeast also mentions that it could go to paying off the mortgage on her home, which appears to be upper-middle class. This gesture may have been Donaldson’s way of repaying his mother for the sacrifices she made, raising MrBeast and his brother mostly as a single mom.
Not much is known about Donaldson’s father. He doesn’t appear in MrBeast’s video as his mother often does. There are reports that Donaldson’s parents were in the army for 25 years leading to a childhood that often left his parents absent. Deployment could be the reason that MrBeast considers himself raised by a single parent.
So, Where Does He Get This Wealth?
Since his videos attract a wide range of viewers, he can sell ad space for a more considerable margin. Just through his video traffic alone, MrBeast makes up to 1.6 million in Youtube Ad revenue.
This money he then transforms into wise investments in his channel. The young YouTuber quickly learned that investing in himself was the key to success.
In a video with fellow Youtuber Casey Neistat, he stated he reinvests all of his money earned from the platform. While it may seem like a stretch, MrBeast lives his life modestly compared to his counterparts.
For MrBeast, it doesn’t seem like familial wealth played a part in his overwhelming success. Growing up in a middle-class home and having parents employed by the army, it’s unlikely that Donaldson’s parents were wealthy.
While MrBeast’s philanthropic tendencies benefit his family in particular videos, it seems as though this 22-year-old is entirely self-made.