A Sharpie, a poster board and a long shot request for beer money from strangers led to donate $100,000—and with two national donation matches, the total has topped $300,000.
Carson King, a 24-year-old Altoona man, has bill to pay, a mortgage and student loans.
You’ve probably heard of King. Lately, he’s better known as the guy who asked America for beer money.
“It’s crazy,” King said. “It’s just overwhelming.”
Saturday morning, like many Iowa State fans, King woke up early and went to ESPN College GameDay in Ames.
He needed some beer money and figured why not try to get some from strangers?
So he bought a poster board for $1.19, used a Sharpie he already had and wrote this.
“Honestly, it really started out as a joke. I didn’t think it would be on TV,” King said. I didn’t think anybody would actually donate to it. I thought, ‘Oh it would be kind of funny. Maybe someone in the crowd would see it and send me money for a case of Busch Light, you know, get some Lattes.'”
Much to King’s surprise, his joke quickly brought in hundreds of dollars. The donations were small at first, 25 cents here — a dollar there, but it was starting to add up.
“Within a half hour we had $400,” King said. “My buddy Tyler, he’s like, ‘Who keeps blowing up your phone? Who keeps texting you?’ I look down and it was Venmo and I had over $400.”
Early on, he was still planning to use the money for beer.
“At that point, I was like, ‘This is great. This is hilarious. I can buy beer for everyone here. This is awesome,'” King said. “Once we hit about $600 I was like, ‘Oh, well I think there is something a little bit better we can do with this.'”
By 1 p.m. Saturday, King tweeted out that he’d be donating the money he raised to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
“Honestly I kind of thought it was a cool rivalry thing that Iowa and Iowa State fans, even during the rivalry, they can help each other,” King said.
Soon, Venmo and Busch tweeted at King and said they’d match his donation.
Wednesday at 7 p.m., King reached $52,000 in donations. Add in the matches from Venmo and Busch and University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is looking at a $156,000 donation.
“I’m just an Iowa guy, working and everything and saw a chance to maybe do something that’ll help someone and took it,” King said. “You know, ‘Iowa Nice’, all that good stuff.”
King is accepting donations through the end of the month. His Venmo name is @Carson-King-25.
He’s already been in contact with the hospital. He’ll be making an in-person donation after the fundraiser is over.