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Yusaka Maezawa: Japanese billionaire pays to get the most retweeted post in Twitter’s history

The Independent logo The Independent 07/01/2019 Andrew Griffin
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

A Japanese billionaire who will be sent to the Moon by Elon Musk now has Twitter's most retweeted post ever.

Yusaka Maezawa said people would be in with a chance of being given cash if they shared his post, which has now garnered almost 5 million retweets.

In the post, Mr Maezawa said that Zozotown – the online fashion retailer that made him his billions – had a particularly successful spring sale and that he would be giving away money to celebrate. Anyone who retweeted his post would be in with a chance of being one of a hundred people to be given a million yen ($9,200).

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He takes the crown from a US teen who asked people to retweet a post asking Wendy's for free chicken nuggets. That post only got 3.5 million retweets.

As well as getting the most shared tweet ever, the number of people following Mr Maezawa's account surged from around 500,000 the tweet was posted to more than 5 million at the time of publication.

The tweet itself was written in Japanese and included instructions that it should be retweeted, as well as images that included a reference to ET.

Mr Maezawa is perhaps most famous internationally for the fact he will become the first person to ever buy a private trip to the Moon, when he is carried there by a rocket made by Elon Musk's SpaceX. His identity as the company's first private customer was unveiled in September.

The trip will see Mr Maezawa carried around the Moon and back on SpaceX's unfinished Big Falcon Rocket. He said he will take a group of artists with him, in the hope they can document the experience.

HAWTHORNE, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Yusaka Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire chosen by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to fly around the moon, listens to a question on September 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, California. If the project is successful, Maezawa would become the first private citizen to fly around the moon.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) © 2018 Getty Images HAWTHORNE, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Yusaka Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire chosen by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to fly around the moon, listens to a question on September 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, California. If the project is successful, Maezawa would become the first private citizen to fly around the moon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The price of the trip has not been disclosed, but Mr Musk said it was "a lot of money". They hope to set off in 2023.

Mr Maezawa first became famous in Japan as the drummer in a band called Switch Style. But his fortune came when he set up Zozotown.

The online clothing store helped him amass an estimated $3 billion fortune, much of which he spends on his art collection.

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