How They Earned 50k by Pulling a Prank

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How They Earned 50k by Pulling a Prank

Michaela Fromme

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This is the story about how 2 college students who, by pulling a simple prank, ended up on the Ellen Degeneres Show, earned $25,000 each, and was offered a job at one of the most popular fast-food restaurant chains in the world.

How did they do it?

Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo are two Asian students who attend the University of Houston. One day, near Pearland, Texas, the two boys were eating at a McDonald’s when they noticed the posters hanging around the restaurant were lacking diversity. This promoted them to create a poster themselves. They went on a mission to create a realistic advertisement photo, transform that into a poster and print it out, and then went to a thrift shop to find an old McDonald’s uniform. They returned to the restaurant dressed in the uniform and hung up their creation. They shared their epic story 51 days later on Twitter, and ended up going viral.

“‘Crazy Rich Asians’ really inspired me, because not only did I see someone like me on the big screen, but it gives me hope that I can work in film and TV in the future, since both Christian and I want to get into that field,” Maravilla said. “I hope that we can inspire others through the use of film through media platforms — either on the web, television, or on the big screen.”

They had also posted a video of their prank on YouTube in August, gaining over a million views and catching Ellen Degeneres’s eye. Ellen then invited the two students onto her show in September.

Ellen awarded them with $25,000 dollars each and with the news that McDonalds plans to offer them both a spot on their marketing campaign.

Representation was a huge motivation for the prank. “The whole world is a melting pot of different cultures, and it’s about time for the media to mirror that,” Maravilla added. “It’s crazy how much of a difference I can make with a small prank and a tweet.”