Watt's original goal was $200,000. In the end, more than 200,000 people donated.
J.J. Watt is a superhuman. What he does on the field, like playing despite having a bone in his finger cut through his skin, is evidence of such. But it's his recent off-the-field efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey that has elevated him to legendary status.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year launched a fund on YouCaring.com to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 26 with an initial goal of $200,000. At the time, that seemed like a sizable yet attainable goal. In hindsight, perhaps Watt (and the rest of us) underestimated humanity's goodwill and willingness to help others in need.
Watt recently closed the fundraiser after raising an astonishing $37,097,298, which is more than 185 times his initial goal. More than 200,000 people donated, meaning Watt got as many donors as he expected dollars.
Watt, whose Texans beat the Bengals last night to get to 1-1 on the young season, has posted videos throughout the process thanking donors and reassuring them that the money will go directly toward helping victims rather than covering administrative costs.
He has posted pictures of trucks loaded with supplies and volunteers on their way to providing aid.
The fundraiser's progress has been accelerated by a few big-time donations from billionaires. Charles Butt, who owns the San Antonio-based supermarket chain H-E-B, donated $5 million, while Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk donated $1 million.
A number of celebrities have contributed to the cause; new Houston Rocket Chris Paul raised $50,000, H-Town lover Drake put up $200,000 and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon announced that his program would donate $1 million.
Just give this man the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Now.