McDonald's Gives Texas Students $50,000 for Hanging Poster of Themselves in Restaurant

Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo pose with their handiwork.
Jevh Maravilla

The gag went viral and the guys wound up on 'Ellen.'

The Texas students who made national headlines for hanging a counterfeit poster in a McDonald's (starring themselves) are now $50,000 richer thanks to the prank. 

Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo recently appeared on Ellen after their gag went viral and the eponymous host surprised them with two jumbo checks for $25,000 each, courtesy of the burger chain.

“McDonald’s loves customers like you. They are committed to diversity and want to represent all their customers, so they are going to use the two of you in a marketing campaign,” DeGeneres told the men. "Since you’re in a campaign, they need to pay you, right? So you’re each getting a check for $25,000."

The University of Houston undergrads are set to be featured in an upcoming McDonald's marketing campaign, per CNN.

Their ascent to fame began when Maravilla and Toledo decided to "improve" a blank wall above their usual table at a McDonald's in Pearland.

"We’d been sitting at that table and always noticed this wall that had nothing on it," Maravilla told 

Taking stock of the posters showing people enjoying their own McDonald’s meals, Maravilla said he noticed none in the restaurant featured Asian people.

So Maravilla and Toledo came up with a plan.

The pair took photos of themselves walking and holding McDonald’s food — for Toledo, a burger; and Maravilla, an order of fries — in a location similar to the backdrops of the posters already hanging in the restaurant. 

Then they ordered a 60-inch-wide, 50-inch-tall poster of the image and planned the execution of their prank. 

At a friend’s suggestion, Maravilla checked the local Goodwill for old McDonald’s uniforms and walked away with a $7 shirt to pose as an employee while they pulled off the stunt.

Then on July 13, with the help of another friend, Maravilla and Toledo sneaked the poster into the McDonald’s and stuck it to the wall when real staffers weren’t looking.

Maravilla shared pictures of his and Toledo’s handiwork on Twitter, writing, “It’s now been 51 days since I hung it up" before the stunt quickly went viral.