Zoë Roth, who became a popular meme known as “Disaster Girl” has reportedly made almost $500,000 from an NFT auction of the meme.
The New York Times reports that while Zoë Roth may not have widespread name recognition, she just made $500,000 from a photograph of her taken when she was a child. In 2005, when Roth was four years old, her family went to see a controlled house fire in Mebane, North Carolina, where firefighters had intentionally set fire to a house as part of a training exercise.
Neighbors gathered to watch and firefighters even allowed children to take turns holding the hose. Roth says that she remembers watching the house go up in flames when her father, an amateur photographer, asked her to smile for a photo. Looking sideways at the camera with a knowing smirk as the flames engulfed the house behind her, the “Disaster Girl” meme was created.
The first good NFT. https://t.co/4492QVI1kX
— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) April 29, 2021
Dave Roth, Zoë’s father, entered the photo into a contest in 2007 and won. Since then the image has been edited into various disasters from history, with Zoë grinning as meteors wipe out dinosaurs or the Titanic sinks in the background.
Of course, Roth was never paid for her appearance across uncounted internet memes, but the recent rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has allowed Roth to finally make a profit on her internet stardom. Roth has sold the original copy of her meme as an NFT for almost half a million dollars.
The meme sold for 180 Ether at an auction on April 17 to a user identified only as @3FMusic. The value of Ethereum fluctuates, like any cryptocurrency, but as of Thursday 180 Ether was valued at more than $495,000. The Roths retained the copyright and will receive 10 percent of all future sales of the NFT.
Discussing her sudden rise to fame via internet meme and the various ways that the meme has been used, Roth stated: “You just make it fit however you want to fit it. I love seeing them because I’d never make any of them myself, but I love seeing how creative people are.”
Read more at the New York Times here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org