'GameDay' Fan Raises over $800K for Children's Hospital After Asking for Beer Money on ESPN
It began with a light-hearted request for beer money on ESPN’s “College GameDay.” It ended with more than $800,000 heading for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Last Saturday, former Iowa State student Carson King, made a sign telling the world he needed beer money. “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenished,” King’s sign said with his Venmo handle, Carson-King-25, printed underneath, KARE reported.
He arrived with his friends at 5:30 a.m., but the main ESPN stage was already full. So King and the guys went to a side stage, which is where most of the show ended up being recorded.
“I didn’t realize anyone saw the sign until the sports anchors left the stage and my buddy, Tyler, asked me, ‘Who keeps texting you?'” King told KARE.
Within an hour, he had $400 in donations.
“I was like, ‘This is great! It can help with my mortgage, bills and A LOT of beer,'” King said.
More money rolled in, and by the end of the game, he had $1,600 and a change in plans.
“With all the donations my CollegeGameDay sign for Busch Beer has received, I will be donating all but enough for a case of Busch Light to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital,” King tweeted.
With all the donations my @CollegeGameDay sign for @BuschBeer has received, I will be donating all but enough for a case of Busch Light to @uiowa Children’s Hospital. We’re at over $1,600.00 right now! @CycloneATH @WideRtNattyLt @ChrisMWilliams Venmo Carson-King-25
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 14, 2019
“I figured this was a way I could help out and give those kids anything and everything,” King said.
But the fun was just beginning.
“Once people saw it was going to the hospital, they took it and ran with it,” King said.
Busch Beer and Venmo offered to match everything donated to King.
.@CarsonKing2 this is the best thing we have read all year, we’re inspired.
We’re going to match your donation to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and we’ll throw in some of that Busch Light you were looking for. https://t.co/NPPrPp6zJg
— Busch Beer (@BuschBeer) September 17, 2019
We see a lot of great stories, but this is one of our favs @CarsonKing2. Count us in for matching the donation to the hospital, too. #ftk?@BuschBeer @CollegeGameDay https://t.co/thS8JXOXC3
— Venmo (@venmo) September 17, 2019
As of Friday night, KCCI reported that King earned $278,000 before any matching money, which would have put him over $800,000 once matching money was added.
In a Twitter post Saturday, King announced the total came to $873,000 — a staggering sum for what started a week earlier as a lark about beer money.
Hey #cyclONEnation! I just wanted everyone to know I’m listening to @CycloneFB from NYC! We’re st over 873,000.00 total contributions after @BuschBeer and @venmo. pic.twitter.com/WooOJDd7zL
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 21, 2019
All of this has changed one very important attitude — that of King’s mother, who was not thrilled that her son was going to wave a sign around asking for beer money.
“My mom heard the idea and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, my son’s going to be on national television asking for beer money’ — you know, proud mom moment,” King said. “I think it turned into her being OK with it at this point,” he added.
King even appeared “Good Morning America” on Friday, and donations kept coming.
Anheuser Busch created a beer can with his face on it, according to KCCI.
The company is also making up for any lost beer money by sending King a year’s supply of Busch light packaged in the cans with his face on them.
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