The GameStop saga, which was initiated by a contingent of traders from Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets forum, has invited overwhelming attention — and scrutiny — to the world of day trading. The ‘crowd-vesting’ strategy paid off for the Reddit users who had banded together to buy GameStop stock. GameStop’s stock price went through the roof—from $43 to $325 in one week.
Other struggling companies such as American Airlines Group Inc. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. also saw stock prices rise and found themselves on the receiving end of liquidity to pay creditors. The stock market frenzy has given these companies a bail out that is bringing them back from the edge of bankruptcy.
Many Reddit investors also found themselves with a sizable profit, which inspired an idea of paying it forward. Hunter Kahn, a 20-year-old Cornell University mechanical engineering student raked in close to $30,000 in GameStop profits. While the bulk of that windfall will be spent financing his education, Kahn also used part of his newfound stash o’ cash to purchase and donate Nintendo Switch games and consoles valued at $2,000 to a local children’s hospital.
“As a beneficiary of the recent events on Wall Street I think it is important that myself and others pay forward our good fortune. I am proud to announce my humble donation of 6 Nintendo Switches and games to go with them to the Children’s Minnesota Hospital.”
He has now joined the ranks of another anonymous investor who recently donated ten Switches to a children’s hospital in Texas and others who have used their newly acquired funds to help cover people’s medical debts.
Another investor that profited from the trending buy in of Gamestop stock was maverick billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, who was an early executive at Facebook. His initial $115,000 purchase of GameStop shares turned into a $500,000 payout. Palihapitiya announced that he bought 50 call options in GameStop. GameStop’s stock has risen a massive 750% in 2021 as online retail investing group WallStreetBets drove the stock up.
He also announced he will donate his entire payout to the Barstool Fund, a new COVID-19 charity that gives cash payments to small businesses who are about to go out of business. “I want to announce that I’m taking all the profits that I made plus my original position—so I’m gonna take $500,000—and I’m gonna donate to the Barstool Fund for small businesses,” Palihapitiya said. The Barstool Fund, founded by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, raises money to support struggling small businesses during the pandemic and “save as many jobs as possible,” according to the Fund’s website. So far, it has raised nearly $33 million from 205,525 supporters to fund 187 businesses. Recipients include bowling alleys, salons, with the overwhelming majority being restaurants and bars.