FACT CHECK: Did An 11 Year-Old ‘Shark Tank’ Contestant Invent A Device To Give The World Free Wi-Fi?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims an 11-year-old orphan, Johnny, invented a device to give the world free wireless internet. He received $1.9 million in funding from a “Shark Tank” investor, it claims.

Verdict: False

There’s no record of a boy inventing such a device or appearing on “Shark Tank.” The video uses footage of a young boy who went on “Shark Tank” to pitch his lemonade stand business to investors.

Fact Check:

The viral video, captioned “11-Yr-Old Orphan Creates Device To Give The World Free Wifi,” tells the story of a young orphan who allegedly received a $1.9 million investment in his free Wi-Fi invention after appearing on “Shark Tank.” It has more than 251,000 views on Facebook.

“An 11-yr-old orphan just murdered the trillion dollar WiFi industry,” claims the video. “In the most viewed episode in the show’s history, the billionaires were fighting each other to invest in the boy.”

However, the Daily Caller found no record of an 11-year-old orphan named Johnny ever seeking an investment from the sharks on ABC’s hit entrepreneurship reality show. If a child had “murdered the trillion dollar WiFi industry” with such a device as the video claims, it would have been picked up by the media, yet no news outlets have reported on it.

The boy shown in the video is actually young entrepreneur Jack Bonneau. He appeared on a November 2016 episode of “Shark Tank” with his father to present his lemonade stand business. Chris Sacca, founder of venture capital firm Lowercase Capital, ultimately offered Bonneau a $50,000 loan, which Bonneau accepted.

The video also takes footage from Bonneau’s other media appearances, including a TEDx talk, and from other episodes of “Shark Tank.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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