He’s 34, wears an orange samurai-esque headband over his shoulder-length hair, loves cat T-shirts and operates a YouTube channel from a Boston basement behind a desk littered with used cups, assorted tech gear, sports hats and Uno cards.
But in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the man who goes by “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube insisted he’s just a normal guy, albeit a nerdy one who just got extremely wealthy.
“I didn’t expect this,” Gill, a dad of two and the new king of the Reddit page WallStreetBets, told WSJ in an interview published Friday.
“This story is so much bigger than me.”
Gill, who until recently had a day job for a life insurance company, is the force that fueled the GameStop roller coaster that thrust hedge funds billions of dollars into the red and bloated a flailing video game company, destined for Blockbuster infamy, well beyond its actual value.
Gill, now a pseudo-celebrity who’s caught the attention of Congress, the Federal Reserve and likely even the Securities and Exchange Commission, has long been a proponent of unloved stocks. He first invested $53,000 into GameStop in June 2019, when shares were around $5 a share — a move that people at the time called crazy as the video game company grappled with the advent of online streaming.
But he held firm, and others got on board, driving the stock higher and higher and setting off one of the most dramatic short squeezes in recent history — which actually worked. On Wednesday, Gill posted a screenshot of his brokerage account showing about a $20 million daily gain on GameStop shares.
“Your steady hand convinced many of us to not only buy, but hold. Your example has literally changed the lives of thousands of ordinary normal people. Seriously thank you. You deserve every penny,” a Reddit fan, reality_czech, replied to him.
Jon Hagedorn, one of Gill’s many fans on the message board website, told WSJ the amateur investor “will go down as the greatest legend in the history of WallStreetBets.”
“He’s the original OG,” he told the outlet.
Gill insists trading was just a hobby and his plan wasn’t to take down the establishment or see his life flip upside down overnight, but he does welcome the sudden influx of cash.
“I always wanted to build an indoor track facility or a field house in Brockton,” the former track star told the outlet of his Massachusetts hometown.
“And now, it looks like I actually could do that.”