The Burger King cook who never missed a day of work for nearly 30 years and received a measly gift for his dedication has bought his first home with the more than $400,000 raised from the now-viral clip, saying it was a Christmas miracle.
Kevin Ford closed on his new Pahrump, Nevada, home on December 13, paying $177,000 for the 846-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath house, sharing the news with his followers on social media, according to TMZ.
“I wanted to show you something, something you made possible, you did for me, just a hardworking guy,” Ford said in a video posted to Instagram on December 29. “Now I know it needs some work, gonna cut off the haters already, I know it’s not a mansion but it’s mine.”
Ford had celebrated his 27th anniversary with the fast-food franchise without missing a single day of work.
The chain, however, gifted him a backpack with a movie ticket, a Starbucks cup and a mix of candy and chocolate.
A video of Ford opening his gifts took the internet by storm while his daughter crowdsourced to raise money for the grandfather to see his grandchildren.
“In no way are we asking for money or is he expecting any money,” Seryna Ford wrote on a GoFundMe in June 2022, “but if anyone feels like blessing him he would love to visit his grandchildren.”
The family has raised over $439,000, of which they got to keep around $350,000 after GoFundMe “took a sizeable chunk,” Ford told TMZ.
As Ford’s story made it around the internet, NBC’s “Today” arraigned for him to fly to New York and be visited by his grandchildren, live on TV, which has been the only day he has missed at his job over the last 28 years.
Ford is still working with the same Burger King inside McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which is now an hour’s commute for him, but he doesn’t mind as he loves driving, the employee told TMZ.
“I want to thank everyone all around the world for what you have done for me, something I never thought would be possible for me, homeownership,” Ford added while giving a tour of his new residence.
Ford credits the viral fame to the strangers who helped him save his life, claiming he was “depressed” and has been given a roof over his head and can see his family more often.
“Now my kids and my grandkids have a place to come visit me, and I just want to thank everybody for being a part of this miracle and for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for me everyday,” he told the outlet.
“This is truly an American dream, it’s a Christmas miracle.”
Ford’s new pad features a covered front deck with a sitting area to enjoy the views of the nearby mountains and a fully fenced-in backyard with two sheds, according to its listing.
Ford told the outlet he plans to use the donated funds for more renovations for his new home, give his daughter some cash for her own home and will put the remainder toward his retirement.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission