Twitch streamer Lea "LegendaryLea" May is no stranger to PayPal donations for her streams of popular video games, but even she had to pause last January when someone named iNexus_Ninja donated $250 during a Hearthstone session. And then $250 more.
"What in the dickens are you doing to me?" she said as iNexus_Ninja's donations reached $750. Soon the donations had soared to $11,500, by which point Lea had abandoned all pretense of playing and was dancing across her room.
Lea looked ecstatic, and justifiably so. Sums like these could erase huge chunks of student debt or lead to lifestyle upgrades. iNexus_Ninja did the same to other streamers like NoSleepTV, Sodapoppin, and Dizzykitten, ultimately handing out around $50,000. But as LiveStreamFails points out in a recent YouTube video, he was just a troll of the basest variety. He planned to wait a month and cancel the transactions through PayPal, by which time the streamers would have spent some of the cash. Yet sometimes in this rough world of ours, such dirty deeds get properly punished. PayPal, you see, refused to pay it back.
iNexus_Ninja, as it turns out, is an 18-year-old kid from Australia named Anthony Archer. A now-deleted tweet discovered by Reddit users months ago reportedly suggested he used his parents' credit card to pay for the shenanigans, and the card apparently carried that kind of load just fine.
This isn't the first time many of these same Twitch streamers have received huge chunks of cash through their shows. As The Daily Dot pointed out a couple of years ago, in 2013 a mysterious user named "Amhai" started showering streamers who were mainly playing World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion with massive piles of cash. Chance "Sodapoppin" Morris received $50,000--here's one big donation--and Lea May received $22,000. Still another player, Isaac "Azael" Cummings-Bentley, received $33,000 for bouncing around Azeroth.
Nothing much was ever learned about Amhai, although rumors based on little more besides the name and videos like thissuggested he was an oil tycoon from Dubai or some similar Middle Eastern city. Cummings-Bentley grew to know him the best, and said none of that was true.
"I don't think he really wants anything said about him," he said at the time. "He is just a very, very wealthy individual."
And so, apparently, are Anthony Archer's parents. But they're apparently not so happy about Archer's actions, judging from his current status on Twitch:
Ah, well. For anyone worried about what that entails, that hasn't stopped him from giving out free game codes. He'll be fine. Must be nice to be rich.
I reached out to Archer for a statement, but received no response.
Update: Friday, June 10: Archer now claims that PayPal froze his account for donating too much. He has so far declined our request to comment on the record, but we are happy to update this story with a statement if and when he provides it.