Photo: Photo by Meeno
A year ago, Caine Monroy was just a pint-sized arcade fanatic whiling away his summer vacation at his dad’s auto parts shop. Then he decided to build his own version of the games he loved to play – completely out of cardboard.
A chance encounter drew national media attention and turned the 9-year-old kid from East L.A. into a household name.
Caine built his first game – mini-basketball – using shipping boxes from the shop and a plastic goal he picked up at a pizzeria.
When he couldn't afford a real claw machine, Caine rigged one using an S-hook and a piece of string.
With most of his dad's business online and little foot traffic in the shop, Caine went weeks without any customers.
Nirvan, a part-time filmmaker, stumbled across the shop. He became Caine's first customer and hatched the plan that would make him a household name.
He rallied thousands of supporters on Facebook to surprise Caine at the shop, even landing on the front page of Reddit.
Within months, donations started pouring in to fund Caine's college education. To date, he's raised nearly $200,000.
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