Two college students in Texas who put a photo of themselves on a wall at a McDonald's were given $25,000 as a reward.
The prank went viral on social media, and Ellen Degeneres invited them to her show. She surprised them with the check from McDonald's and said they will appear in an upcoming ad campaign, according to USA Today.
How the prank occurred
Twenty-one-year-old University of Houston student Jevh Maravilla said he was frustrated by the lack of Asian representation in media. So he decided to take matters into his own hands by creating a poster of himself and his friend, Christian, enjoying some McDonald’s. Then he sneakily hung the poster on the wall at one of the fast food chain’s locations in Pearland, Texas.
Maravilla’s fake poster looked so much like some of the brand’s real posters in its restaurants that he managed to fool the staff and customers alike for 51 days.
Eventually, Maravilla decided to out himself with this tweet on Sept. 2:
i noticed there was a blank wall at mcdonald’s so i decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend. It’s now been 51 days since i hung it up. pic.twitter.com/5OTf5aR4vm
— JΞVH M (@Jevholution) September 3, 2018
“I noticed there was a blank wall at McDonald’s, so I decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend,” he explained in his caption alongside some photos of the fake poster. “It’s now been 51 days since I hung it up.”
He also shared a video on his YouTube page detailing how they hatched their plan and pulled off the epic prank:
Maravilla explained that they took the photo on campus, in order to emulate the natural environments in which the real McDonald’s posters are staged. They found a McDonald’s uniform at a thrift store and added a tie, a badge and a walkie-talkie to the ensemble for good measure.
Disguised as a McDonald’s employee, Maravilla was able to blend in at the restaurant as he guided his friends in hanging the poster. No one noticed the new poster, and it continued to go unnoticed for nearly two months.
“Remember folks, all races deserve recognition, and I guess I did my part,” Maravilla said in the video.
For McDonald’s part, it turns out the company is lovin’ it.
“We take pride in highlighting diversity in every aspect of our restaurants,” a representative for McDonald’s said in a statement to Business Insider. “We applaud these students’ creativity and hope to see them in our restaurants again soon.”