A New York bodega worker has gone viral for giving away goods to his customers in exchange for answers to random math questions.
Last Tuesday, Bronx native Ahmed Alwan, 20, shared a video on TikTok in which he asks a customer browsing through some fruit snacks to multiply five by five. The customer answers it correctly, promoting Alwan to start a five-second countdown and the customer to grab as many items as he can. Among the products he grabs are fruit snacks, a muffin, bananas and several Cheez Doodles.
If you solve this math problem (5x5) you’ll have 5 second to get whatever you want in my store. 😂😇 #foryou
♬ original sound - medmedmedyy
Alwan's footage immediately went viral — it has since received 2.9 million views and 655 comments.
"He moved mad slow," one person quipped, in reference to the customer. "I would have been running."
"My fat self would go to get all the candy and be happy that I get to eat all my fav candies lol," another commented.
In an interview with In The Know, Alwan, whose father owns the bodega, and who has followed up with similar videos (one of which involved a News 12 reporter), said he was motivated to come up with a creative way to help his customers after running into a lot of people who were less fortunate.
"What inspired me is I run into a lot of homeless people on the train on my way to work and I have some customers I knew for years, and I thought I might entertain and help and maybe inspire people," he said.
Since then, the 20-year-old said that he has enjoyed the interactions he's had with customers.
"I just love to help people and support them because I have long relationships with them," he said.
Alwan, who has nearly 300,000 followers on TikTok, estimated that he has given away at least $200 worth of goods — the cost of which will ultimately come out of his paycheck. In a separate interview with News 12, he added that his father has been okay with the stunt. His friends have also supported him.
"He's like the type of person to never want to see anything bad happen to anyone," Amir Ahmad, one of Alwan's friends, told the station.