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How A Viral Cheese Sandwich Tweet May Help To Pay Medical Bills

NOEL KING, HOST:

If you were sentient four years ago, you may remember the travesty that was Fyre Fest. It was supposed to be a weeklong music festival in the Bahamas. Attendees paid in advance for gourmet meals, luxury camping, exquisite villas. Like so many people, Trevor DeHaas was amped.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

He's a freelance photographer. His friend had an extra ticket to the festival and an offer that Trevor couldn't refuse.

TREVOR DEHAAS: Matt made me an offer or a deal pretty much to film a music video for his band and that he would give me the ticket for free. And I was like, hell, yeah.

KING: But when Trevor got to the island, he was like, what?

DEHAAS: We were kind of led to this one area where we were, I guess, supposed to check in. But you couldn't find any staff.

KING: Also, there were no luxury villas.

DEHAAS: And then half of the tents, maybe more than that, the beds inside them were soaking wet because there was a huge storm the morning of or the day before.

KING: And then there were the gourmet meals. This was lunch.

DEHAAS: It was just these slices of cheese on bread and some salad. And we're like, uh, what?

INSKEEP: Not that there's anything wrong with cheese...

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: ...But lunch...

KING: Unless you've paid $40,000.

INSKEEP: Yeah, I guess so.

That lunch came to define the disaster that was the Fyre Festival. Trevor's tweet about the cheese sandwiches went viral, and now he's auctioning the tweet off as an NFT, a non-fungible token. We've reported on these things.

KING: Yeah. NFTs allow a buyer to claim ownership of unique digital items. Trevor says he got his idea when Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, sold the first-ever tweet, his own, for more than $2 million.

DEHAAS: When I saw that I was like, huh, what tweet could I sell of mine? And instantly, I was like, well, I have one.

INSKEEP: He's hoping to sell his tweet for $80,000 for medical expenses. This story is suddenly very serious. He needs a kidney transplant.

DEHAAS: I'm fully aware $80,000 for an NFT of a cheese sandwich might sound insane, but I think if someone also knows that it's going to be a good cause...

INSKEEP: Doesn't sound any more outrageous than the Fyre Festival itself.

(SOUNDBITE OF JA RULE SONG, "LIVIN' IT UP") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.