How a teen’s love of Wendy’s chicken nuggets led to the most retweeted tweet ever

Carter Wilkerson’s love of Wendy’s chicken nuggets just led to one of his tweets becoming the most retweeted of all time.

How the heck did that happen?

Well, last month the 16-year-old resident of Reno, Nevada, fired off a tweet asking Wendy’s how many retweets he’d need to score a year’s free supply of his favorite greasy snack.

Wendy’s social media bot, possibly without consulting anyone who might have actually had the authority to come up with an official figure, shot straight back with “18 million.”

Carter, clearly a man who likes a challenge — especially one involving deep-fried morsels of meat — wasted little time in getting the word out to his Twitter buddies. And beyond.

Tweeting a screenshot of Wendy’s tweet along with his own message — “Help me please. A man needs his nuggs” — the Twitter community jumped into action, retweeting Carter’s message to help him along the oily road to almost guaranteed weight gain.

On Wednesday the all-important tweet became the most retweeted ever, beating Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter post from the 2014 Oscars, which to date has received 3.4 million retweets.

At the time of writing, Carter’s post has been retweeted 3.5 million times. Although he’s still well short of Wendy’s hefty 18-million target, the fast-food joint has been smart enough to capitalize on the unexpected attention and offer the teen free nuggets for a year for his retweet record alone. On top of that, it’s promised to donate $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a nonprofit charity started in 1992 by Wendy’s founder, which helps to find permanent homes for children in foster care.

Carter, clearly buoyed by the prospect of free nugget dinners for the next 365 days, is still hell bent on hitting 18 million retweets, and has even started a nuggsforcarter website selling branded T-shirts to support his cause.

The champion tweeter, who on the same site says he enjoys “naps and chicken nuggets,” explains how the idea for the wacky challenge came about:

“It all started as a joke,” Carter writes. “I was laying in my bed scrolling through my Twitter timeline when I thought of something. I recalled tweets I have seen where kids will text their parents asking ‘How many retweets for a dog?’ types of questions. I decided to kick it up a notch and ask my favorite fast food restaurant the same type of question, ‘How many retweets for a year of free nuggs?’ After I received an outrageous goal of 18 million, I just thought of it as a silly joke to laugh at with my friends, so I replied ‘Consider it done.’ Then it took off and now I am making Twitter history.”