LAS VEGAS - An affable Burger King employee who went viral for the measly gift he received for not missing a day’s work for 27 years, has bought his own home with the funds raised by a GoFundMe campaign.
Kevin Ford, who worked as a cook and cashier at Las Vegas Airport, bought the house on Dec. 13 with money raised from the GoFundMe his daughter set up for him on the back of a viral TikTok video he posted in 2022 celebrating the milestone.
In the video, a grateful Ford is holding a plastic bag of gifts from his employer that included a movie ticket, candy, pens, keychains, a Starbucks cup and other items. Many pointed out that the gifts seemed cheap and suggested he deserved more of a reward.
In response to the comments, Ford’s daughter Seryna created a GoFundMe Page to raise money for her dad’s retirement.
Ford told TMZ that he walked away with about $350,000 from the crowdsourcing fund. It raised nearly $500,000 but GoFundMe took a sizable chunk, and he used about half of what he netted to buy a place in Pahrump, Nevada, for $177,000. Pahrump is about 62 miles west of Las Vegas.
"It’s a Christmas miracle," Ford said in a video posted to his TikTok and Instagram pages on Dec. 29 as he battled back tears.
Ford’s new 850-square-foot pad has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a covered front deck, fenced-in yard and views of the surrounding mountains. He told TMZ he is going to invest more money in his new abode too.
"I wanted to show you something, something you made possible, you did for me, just a hardworking guy," Ford said in the video.
"Now I know it needs some work, gonna cut off the haters already, I know it’s not a mansion, but it’s mine."
"I want to thank everyone from all around the world for what you’ve done for me. Something that I never thought would be possible for me, home ownership."
Ford is also giving some of the GoFundMe money to his daughter to help her get a home for herself and his grandkids, according to TMZ. The rest of the money is being put away for retirement, although he is still working at the same Burger King.
Ford told Fox News' "America Reports" last year that his daughter started the GoFundMe to get $200 to see her and his grandchildren after five years, but unbeknownst to him, Americans started pouring into the account with donations and well wishes. She wrote that his work at Burger King got all four of his daughters through high school and college with full health care coverage.
"I was grateful for it," Ford told Fox News' "America Reports" about his gifts from the company. "...I used a cup that I had and that bag almost every day and I probably gave away some of those Lifesavers... I think I might have ate a few of the Lifesavers... There's a lot of people that worked with me longer than that, 30 years, and they didn't get anything. So, I was happy with it... I've always been grateful for the little things."
Ford developed his work ethic at a young age from watching his parents.
"I think it's from just my dad and my mom," Ford told "America Reports." "It's from my parents. It's just an American thing. It's an American story."
Fox News’ Maria Lencki contributed to this report.