Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign Raises Nearly $60,000

Ohio man raises huge sum of money, just to make potato salad

By Terence Mulcahy
|  Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014  |  Updated 8:00 AM PDT
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Would you fork over a few bucks to a stranger half way across the country to make potato salad? Thousands of people are doing just that. NBC Bay Area’s Nannette Miranda reports with more on this internet sensation.

Would you fork over a few bucks to a stranger half way across the country to make potato salad? Thousands of people are doing just that. NBC Bay Area’s Nannette Miranda reports with more on this internet sensation.

The world's most expensive potato salad is taking over Kickstarter, but some of the people paying for it won't even get a taste.

A Columbus, Ohio, man has raised nearly $60,000 on the popular fund-raising site to make his first potato salad. Donations are still pouring in.

The man, who goes by Zack "Danger" Brown, was originally asking for just $10.

His campaign started out as a spoof of the fund-raising site, which is otherwise full of earnest attempts to raise money for good causes and business start-ups. Brown's silly idea quickly went viral and amused people enough to get them to part with their money.

Slate reported that Brown has not said what he will do with the excess funds, and they suggested a local food bank. However Gawker pointed out that donating the money to a charity would violate Kickstarter's terms, so for now it's just a lot of potato salad.

Brown started with just one statement to capture the imagination.

"Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet," he said on the campaign page.

The reason that people have been so excited to help Brown remain unclear, but at least some of them will get something in return. Kickstarter allows campaigns to offer supporters a reward for their donations, depending on the amount they pledge.

If backers want to taste the salad they will have to fork over at least $3 for a bite. Brown is going to have to do more than double the recipe though, as more than 4,000 people have chipped in so far.

Pledging a little more, $5, will earn users the chance to add an ingredient. For $10, donors can receive a potato-themed haiku. For $50, donors can receive a book of "potato salads of the world."

As of Wednesday morning, 85 people had pledged the latter, and they'll reportedly also receive a bite of the salad.

Similar campaigns have already popped up, including one for fudge, one for coleslaw and one for a cup of tea. None of these campaigns are experiencing the runaway success that Brown has.

The Washington Post reported that by Monday Brown had raised $40,000, which was then lowered to $15,000. Kickstarter explained that this was due to "ghost pledges," or people accidentally adding digits to their pledge and spending more than they intended. Administrators lowered the total to reflect only intended pledges, so it is possible Brown's current bounty could again be adjusted.

Brown is posting regular updates to his campaign as the improbable total soars. He currently says that he will rent a party hall for a pizza party (without potato salad) and invite any benefactors who pledged more than $10. That was for the lofty goal of $3,000, which he has more than surpassed.

Brown also claims that he will film himself making the salad and that all backers will be thanked online and in the video. Thanks to donations from around the globe, Brown promises he is "working with people right now to assess the feasibility of sending potato salad around the world."

But buyer beware: Brown's campaign comes with a warning.

"It might not be that good," he said. "It's my first potato salad."

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