The internet loves oddly-shaped food, to the point where I closely examine everything I eat now, just in case it’s viral gold. Hey, if I find a cheez curl in the shape of a skateboarding nun doing the Macarena, you can be sure I’ll try posting it on eBay for a couple bucks. But it turns out you can gain a lot more than just a few days of fascination and a couple of irony bids from posting this stuff; you can earn some real cash. When Australian teenager Rylee Stuart, 13, recently found a strangely puffed-up Dorito in her snack bag, she shared it on TikTok, where the video got over two million views. The reaction online encouraged her to create a listing for the chip on eBay, where the uniquely shaped snack received bids of up to $100,000, 9News reports.
The eBay listing was eventually taken down, but after the story drew so much attention, Doritos offered Stuart $20,000 all the same. “It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for Rylee and her family and we’ve loved following her story,” said the chief marketing officer of the Australian division of PepsiCo. “We’ve been so impressed with Rylee’s boldness and entrepreneurial spirit, so we wanted to make sure the Stuart family were rewarded for their creativity and love for Doritos.”
Stuart mentioned that she was about to chow down on the puffy chip before she had second thoughts. She told 9News, “I was about to eat it, and I thought I better save it for later.”
“Dad is saying that since he bought the packet, it’s his chip, but I ate the packet and found it, so I believe it is mine,” she added.
This isn’t the first time that an oddly-shaped snack food has proven to be a moneymaker. A Cheeto shaped like Harambe the gorilla (RIP) closed bidding on eBay at nearly $100,000 in 2017, though it had to be re-auctioned since the winner disappeared. Damn. Even a hundred bucks for a Cheeto would be a win for me. Or ten.
Now I’m tempted to just dump a bunch of snack bags onto a table to see what I can find. I won’t go running to the store for these “research materials” quite yet, as the Frito-Lay strike is still going on, but now at least I have a plan for early retirement. If you see me on the news talking about a potato chip that looks like Lady Gaga, you’ll know exactly what happened.