How MrBeast Became the Willy Wonka of YouTube

When Jeremiah Howard was around 5, he was told he had a cataract — cloudiness in the clear lens of his right eye that seriously impaired his vision. “Growing up, I always had really crappy aim,” he says, and he had trouble keeping pace in school. By the end of his junior year of high school, he knew he wanted to have cataract surgery but wasn’t sure how he’d afford it. “I was 17, and I was extremely stressed about how I’d pay,” he says. His mother was not in the picture, and his father, who installs alarm systems for a living, made just enough to keep Howard and his sister in a three-bedroom mobile home in Florida. The procedure, which costs several thousand dollars out of pocket, seemed a distant possibility.

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