- YouTuber MrBeast paid for 1,000 blind and near-blind people to receive cataract removal surgery.
- The surgery, which can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per eye, takes only 10 minutes to complete.
- One man who couldn’t drive because of his bad eyesight was also gifted a red Tesla.
YouTuber MrBeast just gave the gift of sight — and a Tesla — to a man that couldn’t see clearly for his entire life.
In his latest YouTube video, MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, paid for 1,000 blind and near-blind people all over the world to receive surgery. On top of the cataract surgery that the video describes, some patients received gifts, like $10,000 in cash or $50,000 for a college fund.
“Half of all the blindness in the world is people who need a 10-minute surgery,” Jeff Levenson, the ophthalmologist and surgeon who worked with Donaldson, says in the video.
According to the nonprofit MyVision.org, cataract surgery costs an average of $3,500 per eye.
Satchel, one of the recipients of the eye surgery, had poor vision from birth and became almost completely blind after a go-karting accident, Donaldson says in the video.
“He mentioned multiple times he really wants to drive after this procedure fixes his eyesight, so I’ll see you at the end of the video when we surprise him with a brand new Tesla,” Donaldson tells the camera after Satchel goes into surgery.
Three weeks later, Donaldson lets Satchel, who has never driven before, drive him around a parking lot after surprising him with a red Tesla.
Levenson told CNN that Donaldson’s team called him in September about the idea, but he almost hung up because he’d “never heard of MrBeast.”
Since the video was uploaded to the MrBeast channel, which has 130 million subscribers, on Sunday, it’s been viewed 48 million times.
A representative for Donaldson did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.
Donaldson is one of the most-followed and highest-paid YouTubers in the world. He first went viral in January 2017 after being active on the platform for almost five years. His videos often consist of elaborate stunts — like a real-life version of “Squid Game” — and giveaways.
Those viral videos have made Donaldson a popular presence in his hometown of Greenville, North Carolina, where his Beast Philanthropy organizes regular food drives and other charity efforts.
Donaldson is a longtime fan of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“I really want to be Elon one day,” he wrote on Twitter in 2020. Later that year, he tweeted that Musk is his dream collaborator.
He’s since been critical of Musk, tweeting that the Tesla cofounder should step down as Twitter CEO and dismissing Musk’s plan for Twitter to compete with YouTube.
Donaldson’s solution? Potentially becoming Twitter CEO himself. In December, he tweeted at Musk. asking if he could have the position. Musk responded that “it’s not out of the question.”