It’s a good thing he didn’t go with “@andrew.”
Drew Olanoff, cancer-fighter and blogger, is auctioning off his enviable Twitter username “@drew” to benefit the LiveStrong foundation. Its value has already been raised to $1 million, thanks to that other Drew — last name Carey. “I thought we would find a Drew who would bid $10,000 on the last day and that was it,” Olanoff said. “I certainly didn’t think Drew Carey would get wind of it.” Get wind he did. After watching his favorite soccer team, the Seattle Sounders, win on October 3, the Cleveland comedian turned to Twitter to share his elation and saw that Olanoff was auctioning off his “@drew” moniker. Full of good vibes, Carey immediately put in a bid. “I thought it was so much fun, that I bid $25,000,” Carey told CNN. “I was in such a good mood that I raised it to $100,000.” Olanoff was taken back by Carey’s generosity at the time — especially considering they’d never “met” until Tuesday, when he sat down with Carey via Skype on CNN.com — but Carey wasn’t done bidding just yet. Watch the two Drews meet over Skype In the middle of an interview last week with CBS (the corporation writing Carey’s checks, as he’s the host of the network’s “The Price is Right”), he upped the ante from $100,000 to a cool $1 million if he gets the same amount of followers by midnight on December 31. Yes, you read that correctly — Drew Carey plans to give away a million dollars to LiveStrong, if he gets a million Twitter followers by the end of the year. “It was just one of those things that you felt compelled in the moment to do something,” Carey, who said that he’s had loved ones go through cancer treatments, explained. “I didn’t talk to my agents about it or my account or anything. I thought, well, I could afford it, and it’s a really good cause. I was really intrigued with all these people all over the Twitterverse to retweet things and follow, and raise a million bucks.” Judging by how quickly the follower count increases every time his @DrewFromTV Twitter page is refreshed — on Tuesday evening, he had over 76,000 followers — Carey is well on his way to doing so. Of course, if he doesn’t reach a million followers, the donation will be prorated: If there are 500,000 followers when the clock strikes midnight, then $500,000 will be given to LiveStrong. “It’s going to be tough getting a million by the end of the year, and I’m worried I’m not going to make it,” Carey admitted during his Skype interview. “If it’s going the rate that it’s going, it’s going to come up short.” Nevertheless, Carey has become a faithful believer in the power of charity via Twitter. “I’m going to do another version of this next year in a bigger, better way,” he said. It may seem Carey is in some sort of popularity game, but it’s not about getting millions of followers or the Twitter name, Olanoff said. “There are obviously going to be skeptics, but Drew Carey is new to Twitter. Celebrities can get followers; Ashton Kutcher has 3 million,” Olanoff told CNN. “What he’s saying is, ‘Follow me; you’re worth a dollar, and it’s going to LiveStrong.’ ” This isn’t the first time Olanoff’s stirred up the “Twitter-verse.” From the minute he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in late May, he turned to Twitter to air his frustrations. “I’m a very public person, I’m a geek, and I’ve been on Twitter for years,” Olanoff said. “I realized this is serious, and I started to blame things on my cancer. I’m not a whiny person and I didn’t want to get negative [so the site] it was a nice way for me to focus all of my anger and being upset and worrying. ” With the help of a friend who’s also suffered from Hodgkin’s disease, Olanoff set up BlameDrewsCancer.com, where tweeters can blame his cancer for any and everything that’s gone wrong, in 140 characters or less. Lance Armstrong, LiveStrong’s founder, blamed a broken collarbone on it, while Alyssa Milano found Drew’s cancer to be at fault for her inability to resist chocolate drizzled popcorn; she then tweeted an offer to help out Drew’s cancer awareness campaign in whatever way she could. Famous or not, Olanoff found comfort in those tweets. “When I would go through my chemo treatments every two weeks, for me it felt like I had a huge support group, because when you’re diagnosed with [cancer] you can feel alone,” he said.
As a result, Olanoff has decided to keep blaming cancer even though signs are pointing towards improved health; his last chemo treatment is November 2. Until midnight on November 9, his 30th birthday, Olanoff’s resolved to round up as many @DrewFromTV followers as he can, and maybe accept Carey’s invitation to meet up when Olanoff is back in Los Angeles. For now, Olanoff is resting up and tossing around new Twitter names. One in the running is @TheOtherDrew, but no word on how much that one could go for.