Perrysburg freshman wins $50,000 playing Fortnite with Mr. Beast

Perrysburg freshman wins $50,000 playing Fortnite with Mr. Beast

Maddie Pool
eSomethin Staff


Pool: Hello, Perrysburg High School. I’m here with Josh Kennedy. Josh, say hi, say hi.

Kennedy: Hi. 

Pool: So, if the name Josh Kennedy doesn’t ring a bell, the gamer tag “Joshie” might on Fortnite… ‘Cause Joshie was a recent guest on the, on the Mr. Beast gaming YouTube channel for those of you who may not know. It’s a channel with 57.3 million subscribers who is known for giving away millions of dollars to his fans, friends and charities.

Um, also known for “challenge videos” with his friends. Josh here recently was randomly selected to be a part of his gaming channel with over 16 million subscribers. He got to play with Mr. Beast himself, his friend Chandler and Lazarbeam. Lazarbeam has 18.5 million subs and is known for his gaming videos, specifically for “Fortnite,” “Among Us,” and “Minecraft.” So how are you doing today, Joshie or Josh? 

Kennedy: I am doing awesome. 

Pool: I’m sure you are. All right. So I have about 10 questions for you.

All you have to do is answer them to your best abilities, go into as much detail as you would like. All right?

Kennedy: I got all the —  all the deets.

Pool: I’m super excited for this because I’ve been watching Mr. Beast for a while, too. All right. So my first question for you is what was your reaction to being chosen to play Fortnite with Mr.Beast? 

Kennedy: Honestly, how can you react? Other than with, like, excitement? I just was chosen because I was in, I was like, my voice sounded deep compared to a lot of the other contestants.

Cause they asked me who can like fire up Fortnite right now. And I said, I can and so, honestly, even talking to one of Mr. Beast staff members, I could only feel excitement for it. Cause like I was really, I was, I had my mind set on playing with Mr. Beast because they, before I even knew about the $50,000, all I knew was that I was playing with Mr.Beast before I knew that $50,000. And so I was just hoping I could play with him, not even had, I didn’t even have to win.

Pool: That is experience on itself, something I, and I’m sure millions of other people would want to be in your shoes to play Mr. Beast. We’re extremely lucky, like, jeez. All right. So my next question for you is, um, obviously you’re a fan of Mr. Beast. Um, how long have you watched him? How long have you been a fan of Mr. Beast?

Kennedy: Um, I’ve watched Mr .Beast ever since he did his dumb science videos. So if you do the math, I think that might’ve been two years ago, but I didn’t really, really start watching him until quarantine. I think COVID really got me kind of locked in and he posted once a week. And now he posts every two weeks, which is so sad.

But now like when he does upload, it’s just so exciting for me. because like, I’m such a big fan of what he does and how much he’s helped people.

Pool: Oh my God. Yes, yes, yes. All right. I’m going straight into the next one. What did it feel like to talk to the Beast Crew and LazarBeam at the same time?

Kennedy: Um, Oh, okay. So before I even spoke to them, even I was with one of the staff members and they were like, are you ready to go in?

And I was like, no, I’m not ready because how can you be ready to talk to someone like that? Like your mind will almost be skeptical when you spoke– to speak to someone like that.

Pool: Like, am I really about to talk to Jimmy? The Mr. Beast.

Kennedy: Like, Yeah, it’s just, wow. Yeah. It was just really, really skeptical. And um, so then when they put me in the call, I like heard them and I was like, Holy crap. I’m here. This is my dream. And then just whole bunch of emotions running through my mind. If you can imagine it’s like being on a rollercoaster of emotions, but like times like 1000.

Pool: Oh right. I am extremely jealous. And obviously it was not new to talk to LazarBeam because LazarBeam has known you his whole life, which is reference to the video, which if you guys haven’t, if you guys haven’t seen him play Fortnite with Mr.Beast, you definitely should. Um, what are you doing? All right. Um, our fourth question is how did your friends/family react to you winning $50,000?

Kennedy: Um, I’m gonna go kind of through a list here first, starting with my mom, then my dad and then my friends.

Okay. So first my mom, if you did watch the video you saw, she, she kind of embarrassed me saying, I’m going to spend it on Fortnite and Mr. Beast like your mom does, but my mom’s reaction was way better than my dad’s once they ended the video.

And like, we hung up the call, we were both screaming at the top of our lungs. We, we had just, it was like, we won the lottery, 

Pool: Well, you did win the lottery.

Kennedy: And then, we go on to my dad. He was kind of like super-skeptical. My dad didn’t want to hook onto the money until we had it. And so, he, he started like researching it a little bit. And now he’s like, he’s pro Mr. Beast, basically. He’s like, Oh, I support everything he does.

Pool: Do you have the money yet? 

Kennedy: What?

Pool: Do you have the money yet?

Kennedy: We do not. But we should. Yeah, I know. So disappointing, but we should be getting it. But– I’m sorry — Like I said, I’m also eating. But anyways, moving on to my friends, they were the first people I told other than my mom.  I instantly went to my friend, Ashton Cook, if any of you know him. And I was like, dude, dude, dude, dude, dude, I won, I won, I won, I won.  He was so skeptical. I keep saying skeptical, but like, it was really like questioning it. But then he was like, Whoa, I have a friend that won with Mr Beast.  And so now, like we will even talk because in Fortnite you can see who, um, you’ve most recently been in like a lobby with, and Ashton, join our lobby.

And he sadly got kicked for like obvious, obvious reasons. He didn’t get chosen. But now he, like, shows me that he’s been in their lobby.

Pool: But that’s a flex, honestly.

Kennedy: Uh huh.  And I just think it’s so cool. 

Pool: I know you, I know you told Clayton Snyder because I’m in a group chat with him and he texted, I think a few days before the, before the video aired, um, he said, dude, Josh just won $50,000.

And of course I was, of course I was like, no, he did not. And I..

Kennedy: Then the video came out

Pool: I know that the video came out and I’m like, even when I like heard your voice, I’m like, there’s no way that’s Josh Kennedy.  Like, there’s just no way. But yeah.

Kennedy: I get that.

Pool: I mean, yeah. Um, anyway, um, you kind of, okay, so what’s the first thing you will do when you get this money?  Like what do you want to spend it on?  

Kennedy: Um, well, I said in the video —  I’m giving, it’s going to go towards a gaming setup, but kind of deriving from that, I need to focus more on my future and that means then I’m definitely going to invest a lot of it.  It is definitely going towards my college, my student debt, maybe when I come out of college at my first house, possibly, I don’t know what it’s going to go towards.  And I know that that money that I have is going towards something in my future. And then with, so basically, how the money works is we have income tax and then we have and we store  the rest.  So I’m going to end up having $8,000 of my own to spend.

Pool: I mean, that’s a lot of money to spend.

Kennedy: Yeah. And so now that I’ve got this kindof giant opening for content-creating, like, I’m going to put a little —  like kind of — follow me on Twitch, joshiekenn,  but um, 

Pool: Okay. Subtle, subtle plug, but I’ll take it. 

Kennedy: [inaudible]

Pool: Um, my sixth question for you is did anything interesting happen that got cut from the video?

Kennedy: Oh yes. This was probably the funniest part in my opinion, but I’m muted  in the call with them to tell my mom, so my mom —  great person, by the way — you all saw the video.

Pool:  She sounds nice.

Kennedy:  She’s a great person, but anyways, um, so she wanted to make my spring break super interesting. Cause she figured like I’m not doing anything cool.  All my friends were going somewhere and I was just going to sit at my computer. So she was taking me to Biggby coffee.  Oh, I was so excited. I was so ready. And I hop on my computer just to check out stuff and I see like the call is open. And so I hop in and then I start getting into the game, yada yada, and my mom finally yells down to me.

She says, “are you ready to go to Biggby coffee?” And I literally screamed at her and while I was muted. I said, “MOM GET OUT OF THE BASEMENT I’M TRYING TO WIN 50 GRAND” 

Pool: Jeez. 

Kennedy: And then she just slams the door and I whispered to the mic. I go, “Guys, I think that just made my mom mad. So that was probably the funniest thing that got cut.” 

Pool: But you got $50,000 out of that. So I think getting your mom a little upset, but it’s worth it, way worth it.

Kennedy: Yeah, it was definitely worth it.

Pool:  All right. Number seven. This should be an interesting one. How much has your life changed since winning or since the news got out that you won?

Kennedy: Um, my life? It’s, it’s definitely been like a drastic change, but at the same time, not really. I told myself before going into this, I’m not letting like, well, I shouldn’t say before going into this, but like when I got that money, the day after the game I was like, okay, I’m going to be smart about this. So, it definitely opened up to the people I was already friends with. And so I said like, you guys are my friends.

Like, you guys were here before anyone else. Cause I figured there’s going to be people asking me for money. That’s just a given.  And so, um, my life it’s definitely changed, but also not, because I, I shut people down if they do ask me for money and that’s basically the biggest change.

The other big change is that I’m everywhere. I know like anyone I talk to knows that I did this. It is crazy.

Like I have a friend who lives over in Germany and he said his school was talking about me. Yeah. So if that puts it into perspective of how much my life has changed, I don’t know what will.

Pool: Yeah, because obviously I was there to school too. As I was leaving, Orchestra, talking to my friend, she’s like, did you hear that Josh Kennedy won $50,,000?  I’m like, yeah, I’m going to interview him later. And then you walk right past me towards the, uh, auditorium. 

Kennedy: Really? Oh my god.

Pool: Yeah, it was between second and third period. And you just walk right past me. I’m like, there he goes.

Kennedy: So funny. 

Pool: As I’m walking right past you and I didn’t want you to hear me, because that would be awkward. 

Kennedy: Another thing to add to that is that my, my friends are coming up to me and they’re like, we talked about you in our English class.  And I’m like, no one, like the only place I hear it in my classes is when it’s brought up by like me or one of my friends who makes fun of me for it, like makes fun of me in a joking way.  Other than that, I don’t really hear it all that much. Like you figured you, you would figure you’d hear it in the halls, but really I don’t. I hear it nowhere. 

Pool: Yeah. Like when I walked in Tech Writing, which the, um, eSomethin is, so the cool newspaper that Tech Writing —  that’s that class.  So, literally the first thing Mr. Kitson does when he gets up, who’s the teacher for Tech Writing, he goes, he’s like, “I swear to you, I swear to you all, like I swear on my marriage, that this is not April Fool’s prank. Someone won $50,000. And I cut him off and I go —  “Interview time!”

So yeah, you were the very first topic in Tech Writing  and Mr. Kitson was like, you need to get on this as soon as possible because I need this. This is the biggest thing we have. So, you are a big deal right now.

Kennedy: I love that.

Pool: It is, definitely a lot, because pretty much the only time I ever knew you was last year during, um, uh, Social Studies, you sat like right behind me.  Yeah. 

Kennedy: [Inaudible.]

Pool: Yeah, science and social studies with you last year at the junior high. You sat, like, right behind me and you had a Mr. Beast hoodie. So it’s ironic that you’re the one who played in a Mr. Beast Video.

Kennedy: It’s so funny that I still have, I still have that hoodie.

Pool: I know. It’s like, I think it’s ironic that the one kid that wore a Beast hoodie in that class was Josh and he got into a Mr. Beast video.

Kennedy:Then let me tell you, I got made fun of, for that hoodie. 

Pool: You’re not being made fun of now.  You are literally the most popular kid in school right now. Um, whether, it, like, you sense it or not, you are the talk of [inaudible]. My brother at Hull Prairie said that you were a hot topic over there, too. 

Kennedy: Yeah. Cause, um, so about that is my friend, Ashton.  He has got like, he’s got neighbors and some of those neighbors go to Hull Prairie. So they texted me and they’re like, is this true?

And I’m like, yeah. And now, now it’s everywhere. I even got an email from an old junior high teacher.

 Pool: Which one?

Kennedy: Um, my old choir teacher. Sorry, I’m eating again. But my old choir teacher, Mr. Hamilton.

Pool: Like email, you like, did you just seriously win 50 grand?

Kennedy: So he emailed me saying, I want to put a stop to the rumors if they aren’t true. But is it true?

You want 50 grand? And I’m like, yup. It’s true, alright.

Pool: All right. Um, moving on to the eighth question, um, what was the process of from joining the call, playing the game, ending it, all that stuff.

Like what? Like walk us step-by-step. 

Kennedy: I’ll walk you through everything. Like I’m gonna go even like a few months back for when I first joined their little like group server thing.

Pool: Okay.

Kennedy: So I joined. I thought I had no chance. I was like, dude, they pick elite people.  I’m not going to get in.  And so I just signed up, I filled out a form, you know, yada, yada, yada. So now we’re flashed forward. We’re fast forwarding to now – or like a week ago, I’d say. And so I’m sitting on my, like I’m sitting in my dining room chair and I’m looking at Discord, and I’m just scrolling. And I see one of the voice channels, like voice calls for anyone who doesn’t know what a voice channel is. It’s open, and I was like I got to get in there. And so I hop in and I mute my mic, obviously.  I have everyone on speaker and stuff. And so then I go to fire up my old gaming setup and I joined them on like my gaming setup as well. And so I’m in there and the admins ask me, they go, who can fire up Fortnite right now on their computer/PC?

And there were a bunch of 10- and 11-year-olds. And so 15-year-old myself… my voice sounded deep.

And so, um, they were all screaming, “Oh, I can do it. I can do it.” And so then me with my so-called deep voice, I go, “I can do it.”So they pull me into a separate call. It’s called “Recording five.” They just have a bunch of recording, like channels and stuff. If anyone wants to see that, Maddie, I think you might be in their little server there if you aren’t. 

Pool: I’m not because I don’t go game, If I gamed I would be…

Kennedy: Yeah. All right. Well, um, so they pulled me in and they say, you sound pretty chill. Let me look at like what you’ve done so far. So they started looking through my, like, stats and stuff. So they were like, okay. You’ve never been picked before. And how it works is if you don’t get picked, your chances go higher up. And so they were like, “you have about a 5% chance of getting in.” And I was like, okay, I didn’t expect anything from it. I was like, uh it’s okay. I mean, truthfully, I didn’t think anything. So then they were like, “we’re going to leave you here.  And we’re going to go see what Mr. Beast wants.” And so then they come back in, I’d say a minute later and they go, “you’re chosen.”

So then by this point I’m freaking out and they send me a direct message. DM. I don’t know if anyone knows what these are. So I’m trying to simplify it, put into words that people might understand. 

Pool: It’s messages sent over Discord.

Kennedy: So then they sent an invite to another server, another group chat of Mr.

Beast’s gaming collabs. And I’ve never been in a more elite group of my life. They have so many content creators.

Pool: That is literally the most elite server you could get into.

Kennedy: Yeah. Let me tell you a bunch of people that were in it. It had DreamSMP, CouRage, LazarBeam.

It has Loserfruit. It had everyone from Australia, everyone from DreamSMP, uh, some people from FaZe mixed in there. And so bunch of people from there, bunch of people and so in there, and they pull me into the call. They don’t, I’m not talking to Mr. Beast yet. I’m still talking to the admins and they’re like, all right, this is what you got to do. And they’re preparing me, and they asked me like, what’s interesting about yourself? And I tell them, like I do theater. And they’re like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. And I tell them like, they’re like, “how high is your energy right now?” And I go, it’s pretty low. Cause I don’t want to be. like super-energetic, you know? I don’t want to be annoying and they go, “okay, we need to have your energy go up by like 20 times.” I mean, so then you can see in the video, I’m pretty chill. People said, I thought I was freaking out the whole time, 

Pool: Everyone was calling you a nice guy in the comments, so… calling you a pretty chill dude.

Kennedy: Yeah. That was really nice to hear that. Like, yeah. I really like the comments.

Pool: How many times do you scroll through those comments? 

Kennedy: What?

Pool: How many times have you, how many times have you been in that comment section? 

Kennedy: Oh, I’d say probably roughly 15 times, but uh, Hey, who’s counting?

Pool: Um, Hmm. Like I look and I’ll see Joshie. I’m like, I know that kid. We’re, we’re we’re best buds, right? This is the longest I’ve talked to you before.

Kennedy: Yeah. Um, but anyways, so I go into the call with the Mr. Beast, the Chandler, and the LazarBeam. And by this point I was like, Oh, I’m just going to be playing with Chris Chandler, and Jimmy. And I was like, that’s pretty cool. I’m meeting Mr. Beast and then Chandler and Chris who are both really cool, but like, Mr. Beast is the big one. And then I figure out that frickin’ LazarBeam was in there. And so I’m like, bro, you expect me to do like win a Fortnite game? And I still have yet to know that I was winning $50,000. It just thought it was like a Fortnite game for whatever they were going to give me.

Pool: We heard your reaction in the video. Like you, like, you could like feel like your soul, like leaving your body and coming back and that realization.

Kennedy: Yeah, because right when they said, um, like Joshie you’re competing for $50,000, I was like, Whoa. As you saw, I was like, Oh my gosh. Okay. But I have to tell you that was actually not my live reaction. 

 Pool: Oh, tea!  What was your live reaction?

 Kennedy: Wait, what?

Pool: What was your live reaction? Like how, like your initial reaction? 

Kennedy: Well, I’ll get, yeah, let me like explain why it’s not, and then I’ll tell you what my initial reaction was.

So, um, they put me into a game and they were like trying to get through the whole intro, you know, as YouTubers have to and they didn’t. And so they told me I was winning $50,000, but I was actually pretty quiet. I’m like, cause I didn’t want to like scream and break the mic.

And so then we got out to the battle bus and they said, no, let’s go into a new game. We gotta finish the intro.

So then when they put me into a new game, I was like, okay, energy has got to be up. We can do this.

And so then I was like, Oh my gosh. Okay. And so then I don’t really think I need to go through the whole game process because like, if you watch the video, that’s the game.

Um, so then when we finished the game, we, like, obviously left the match and we, um, just kind of spoke for a little bit.

And I was like, Holy crap, Mr. Beast, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. And he was like, no problem Joshie.

And he didn’t say, “any time.” I almost just said that he said “anytime,” but he did not say anytime.

Pool: Just give me 50 grand whenever you want. I’m cool with it.

 Kennedy: Exactly. And so then, um, I just kind of left the call and then I left their little group there out of respect. A bunch of people were telling me to like stay in it. And I said, no. That’s the story.

Pool:  Like that, that is insane. That is a literal, like you, I think you have like a better chance of winning the lottery. Like, that, that is insane.

Alright. Um, our ninth question is, um, how did it feel to get $50,000 at only 15 years old? Like that’s more money than some people make in, like, their twenties or thirties, but you’re just 15 years old and you won this, you won 50 grand in a day.

Kennedy: Yeah. I’ve thought this out. I’ve, I’ve wondered like, well, I’ve wondered, like, what am I going to do? Like I’m only this young. So, I didn’t think about it that way until I had a call with another friend, his name is Tyler. He doesn’t go to our school, but he’s telling me, he goes, Josh, you’re richer than, like, everyone in your school, everyone at your age, except for like [inaudible].

And so I was like, holy crap. I am. And so then I was like, starting to shake. I was like, holy crap.

This is like real. And that’s when I really grasped the idea of $50,000. I was like, that’s a lot of money.

And that is when, like that moment I was like, holy crap. Like I just made so much money out of 20 minutes. I’d say, well, maybe not 20, maybe like 30 minutes. I just made $50,000. Yeah. So that was basically my reaction, like how I felt.

 Pool: Like that is nuts.I think I would probably like I’d faint. Um, because, like, when my brain overloads, I, um, just shut down. So I’m like, like I can kinda tell, like, even talking about this, you’re still pretty shook up about it.

Kennedy: Yeah, I am definitely. And I try so overall. I know, I probably like when I’m walking through the halls, like it’s, it’s still like something I’m going to talk about.

Cause it’s a huge part of my life. Like it’s still really recent. I’m going to talk about it, but I’m trying to lower it down some about talking about the 50 grand.  Someone talks about it. I’ll have a conversation with them, but overall I’m like, I’m not going to talk about it with my friends.

Cause I don’t want to just be this part of my life. I wanted to kind of, I want my life to also be like, I’m still Josh. Like this isn’t — I’m not Joshie from the Mr. Beast video. Like, I’m Josh. That’s who I am. You can talk to me about the money. I’m not going to like, okay, sorry, hang on.

Let me rephrase this. I don’t care if you talk to me about the money. I love it. I’m still going to go forward in my life and try and be my own thing.

And I can’t thank Mr. Beast enough for like giving you this opportunity for like, this is kind of like a hole for me content-creating. I can go into it now.

Pool: Yeah, you have, they have like the tiniest little plot you have like, not even tiny, you have a pretty big- You have a platform. Like if you go on YouTube saying, I’m Josh, You saw me, you saw me playing with the Mr. Beast. You probably either liked me or you didn’t. Here I am. Subscribe. So like you could definitely launch something with this experience you had. Like, I don’t think people realize how life-changing this actually is. Because like, for them, like they just watch 20 minute video you want 50 grand for you. You’re 15 you won 50 grand. 

Well, I mean, you like, it’s like everyone knows your name. Like I don’t, I don’t know the views on the video, but millions of people have heard your voice.

They know you exist. Like they, and like they have opinions on you, whether it be liked you  or they didn’t, everyone saw you thought you were pretty cool. So yeah. 

Kennedy: I try my best.

Pool: You try your best. I mean, yeah. It’s still mind-blowing. Right? So my tenth so my 10th one is kind of like a, yeah.  So were there any other experiences or just other like things you want to add on about this whole thing? 

Kennedy: Um, I’m not plugging, but I should tell you guys no way actually.

Pool: Plug it.

Kennedy: Actually, no, I’ll go into that.

 Pool: So, you could be the next boy, You could be the next BoyJedi, if you want it to.

Kennedy: Exactly. That’s what I got my mind kind of set on right now from all those nice comments. I DM’d one of the administrators and I said, “Hey bro, I also play Minecraft, that’s kind of the main game I play. So if you ever want me back, like I’m open. And he did send me a response, not going into his response, but it was a nice response. I swear. And so basically if the views are good, if the community likes me, then I could possibly come back. And so could Ms. Joshie.

 Pool: Joshie may have a return in the Mr. Beast, uh, channel, I don’t know how to word it.

He might play with Mr. Beast again, but we’ll see. But, yeah. And that is really all I have for you. Thank you for taking, what was this like 30 minutes of, of your time to just talk about how you’re richer than all of us. 

Kennedy: Haha, well, I wouldn’t put it that way.

 Pool: He has money now, guys, haha. Yeah. Anyway, thank you for being here and taking this interview.

Um, again, if anyone wants to see Josh or Joshie play Fortnite with Mr. Beast and LazarBeam, go to Mr. Beast gaming on YouTube and I don’t know, comment or something.

Kennedy:  I mean, I will also accept you going to joshiekenn on Twitch. 

Pool: Or joshiekenn on Twitch or do you have like a, do you have a YouTube channel yet?

Kennedy: Um, I do, but it’s not really big. I mean, I gained a few subscribers off of Mr. Beast, but overall I’m not really ready for my YouTube to be released, 

Pool: Not ready for the YouTube. All right. 

Pool: So I’m just going to try to see if I can end this. Um, so about 28 minutes, almost 30.

All right. So again, thank you.

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