$100,000 Harambe Cheeto sparks boom in silly-snack auctions

A Cheeto shaped kind of like the primate tragically shot at the Cincinnati Zoo sells for an absurd amount on eBay, leading to copycat auctions of odd little snacks.

Culture
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Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Slow down and examine your snacks next time you've got the munchies. There might just be a hidden fortune in your next bag of chips.

That seems to be the lesson from an eBay auction for a "unique Cheetos that looks like Harambe the gorilla." It ended Tuesday morning with a winning bid of $99,900 (£79,970, AU$130,750).

Harambe was the ape shot by zookeepers last year when a young boy fell into his habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. The adult male silverback has continued to live on as a persistent meme. Heartfelt tributes to him circulated on social media, but the meme soon became weird and reportedly even led to write-in votes for Harambe in the 2016 US Presidential election.

An eBay seller who typically sells Blu-ray discs attempted to sell the Cheeto vaguely shaped like a gorilla three previous times over the past month. Each time it got zero bids.

On the fourth try, it took nearly a week for the first bid of $12 to finally come in. Then the auction seems to have gotten a little help from the Twitter account "@FatKidDeals" and its 86,000-plus followers.

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This Superman-shaped Cheeto is now selling eBay for a $5,000 starting bid.

eBay screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

After that account tweeted a link to the auction Sunday evening, bids started to come in, and within 24 hours the price rocketed to over $90,000.

Smelling the sweet aroma of all that cash, copycats are already hot on the trail.

Another kind-of gorilla-shaped Cheeto is currently going for over $75,000 on eBay. Most ridiculously, a screenshot of the original Harambe Cheeto auction taken with just one second left for bidding is fetching $10,000.

Hustlers of shaped snacks aren't just capitalizing on the Harambe phenomenon. Cheetos shaped like Superman, Jesus and Donald Trump are also on offer.

Remember folks, always look before you snack. Don't waste a potential fortune on your appetite.

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