The new world record comes with the offer of 1 million yen each for 100 lucky people.
Japanese billionaire and Zozotown online shopping site founder and CEO Yusaku Maezawa might be one of the richest people in Japan, but it’s his acts of generosity that have been making headlines around the world over the past couple of years.
In 2018, he purchased a rare 1717 Stradivarius Hamma violin, with plans for it to be played by local musicians around the world so that children everywhere can hear it, and when he announced he would be the first commercial passenger on board Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship trip around the moon, he vowed to take six to eight artists from around the world with him, in the hopes of inspiring them.
Now the 43-year-old is starting the year off with another act of generosity, by paying out 1 million yen (US$9,240.35) to 100 individuals as a mark of thanks for a record-breaking New Year’s sale on Zozotown.
The offer was announced on Twitter with this tweet, posted on 5 January, which reads:
“Zozotown’s New Year’s sale just broke sales of 10 billion yen in record time. To express my gratitude, I will personally give a present of 1 million yen in cash to 100 people (a 100-million-yen total otoshidama [New Year’s money gift]). All you have to do is follow my account and retweet this tweet. Entries close 7 January. Winners will be contacted by me directly via direct message!”
Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤友作 (@yousuck2020) January 05, 2019
The tweet – featuring the front and back image of a nengajo New Year’s card addressed to “My Followers” and hashtagged “#月に行くならお年玉” (“Otoshidama if we go to the moon”) – quickly went viral, with 4.4 million retweets as of this writing. Maezawa’s follower count also rose steadily, from around half a million before the tweet was posted, to 4.91 million on Monday evening.
In a follow-up tweet posted on Sunday, Maezawa thanked everyone after the tweet broke records for the number of retweets recorded in Japan.
“I think what everyone wants is not money but dreams. I’m on the verge of tears because if you had 1 million yen you would use it on things other than yourself; on things like animals, society, family and friends. Japan you’re still alright. You have plenty of dreams. This is a new record for retweets in Japan. Yep, there are dreams alright. Thank you.”
Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤友作 (@yousuck2020) January 06, 2019
By Monday it became clear that Maezawa’s tweet had not only smashed Japanese records for the most retweeted tweet of all time, but international records as well. Maezawa acknowledged the new record with this tweet,