A Japanese billionaire who is set to become the first private passenger in space has taken the record for the most retweeted tweet, beating a teenage chicken nugget enthusiast from the US.
- Mr Maezawa asked people to share a tweet about the 10 billion yen his company Zozo made in recent sales
- He will split a large prize between 100 people who he has said he will contact directly
- The fashion entrepreneur and former punk-rock drummer is due to fly around the moon in a rocket in 2023
Yusaku Maezawa’s January 5 tweet has been shared at least 4.3 million times, surpassing the 3.6 million retweets made as part of Carter Wilkerson’s April 2017 scheme to secure a year’s worth of free nuggets from a fast-food outlet.
Initially, Mr Wilkerson was told by Wendy’s he would need 18 million retweets to win the prize, however they still gave him the nuggets and made a $US100,000 donation in his name even though he fell a long way short of their target.
“HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS,” he wrote at the time.
Mr Maezawa, who wanted followers to share a tweet celebrating 10 billion yen ($129,518,400) in New Year’s sales from his clothes retailer Zozo, took a different approach.
To encourage participation, Mr Maezawa offered 100 people the chance to win a share of a 100 million yen ($1,295,900) prize by simply retweeting his post.
The former punk-rock drummer said he would contact the 100 winners directly.
In September, Mr Maezawa announced he would invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on a week-long journey around the moon in a rocket owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Mr Musk said the entrepreneur, founder of Japan’s largest retail website and one the country’s richest people, would pay “a lot of money” for the trip, but declined to disclose the exact amount.
The launch is expected in 2023.
While the rocket has not yet been built, Mr Musk has said he wants it ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022 and a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.