I went to school at the University of Chicago. Which is—it was a very dark and dismal place, at the time that I was a student there. It’s a very good school, and a lot of smart people go there —we have a lot of Nobel prize winners— but it’s not a very fun place to attend. It’s on the south side of Chicago, it’s very cold and very wintery. And at the time that I was there, we didn’t even have a student center. There was a study that was commissioned by a group at Harvard, of the top 300 universities in the country, and they rated them according to various different criteria, like academic standards, and campus quality and social life. And we ranked 300 out of 300, right under the Naval Academy. It was just—the only social life occurred in the basement of the Regenstein library.
And then we had this one thing every year, which was the University of Chicago scavenger hunt, which was amazing. Everyone on campus participated for four days, in this thing, and they came out of their caves, and had an amazing time. And there were some great items on the scavenger hunt list for the University of Chicago. My girlfriend at the time was on another team —she was also a student there, she’s now my wife— and she came into my room one night and said “hey, hey Mi—” I was one of the few kids at school who had a car, and she said, “hey, can I borrow your car?” And I said, “why do you wanna borrow my car?” And she said, “well, I found a place up in Wisconsin that’s got some sheep.” Because one of the items on the scavenger hunt list was three live sheep. And I said, “oh, no, you cannot borrow my car to go pick up—” you know, it was a sedan, with upholstered seats, I don’t want her going to pick up sheep in it. She did end up waiting until I fell asleep and stealing the keys and taking my car anyway. And then the sheep spent the day in my car, unbeknownst to me. They didn’t even bother to lay newspaper down. They were just, uh, grinding their own feces into the seats, and chewing on the upholstery.
Other items on that scavenger hunt list that year were a Hooters waitress. So a team would have to acquire a Hooters waitress and bring them to the event. But my wife went and got a job at Hooters, got hired, got the wardrobe, and then, you know, showed up herself. She was good at this.
So anyway, I had a great time doing those scavenger hunts at school. And then I got on a TV show, and I built up something of a Twitter following, and found that people would kind of, strangely, do whatever I said. It gave me this incredible sense of power, and I think that I started to take advantage of it, and I combined these two things —people doing what I say and my love of scavenger hunts— and started this little experiment, which totally took off. We now have three Guinness World Records under our belt in two years, which is pretty good." @13 hours ago with 1081 notes