Welcome to MrBeast's neighborhood

In Greenville, N.C., the unlikely home of YouTube's biggest star, the neighbors are all part of the spectacle — whether they like it or not.

Welcome to MrBeast's neighborhood
MrBeast on the walls of a Greenville hot dog joint. (Photo by Matt Ramey for The Washington Post)

Full story: Greenville was quiet. Then a hometown kid became YouTube’s biggest star.

For our creator economy project, we wanted to do a story on what it actually looked like to have all these influencers making money and hiring people out in the offline world. So we spent a few days in Greenville, N.C., where Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson now runs the 200-million-follower YouTube colossus that has become, as one local told us, “every kid’s dream.”

We went to the neighborhood where he bought an entire cul-de-sac, struck up conversations in bars and schools and grocery stores, and spoke to dozens of people about what it’s like to live in an 88,000-person college town that now also just so happens to house a Lamborghini-driving 25-year-old multimillionaire.

Some folks love it. He’s a job creator known for giving away random sacks of cash in YouTube stunts, and a few here told us they’ve worked to develop a sense for when a potentially life-changing stunt might be underway. But others feel like they’ve been turned into background extras for viral spectacles in their own home.

One woman on the edge of town was terrified by a series of powerful explosions, ending just before midnight, during one of his company’s wild, day-long shoots. “Imagine you’re trying to sleep and it feels like someone is literally running a car into your house," she told me.

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