Throughout the past year, a mysterious figure known only as "Amhai" has been donating to Twitch streamers in lump sums as large as $50,000, according to a new report from The Daily Dot.
Amhai has doled out more than $100,000 in donations to his favored players through Twitch's online streaming platform. Earlier this year, Amhai started off with small donations of $1,000 and $5,000 before ramping up to larger sums in the multiple tens of thousands. World of Warcraft arena world champion Isaac "Azael" Cummings-Bentley reported that Amhai — rumored to be an oil tycoon from Dubai — has given him more than $30,000 in donations, while his friend Chance "Sodapoppin" Morris received $50,000.
"Some people said, holy shit this guy Amhai just donated Sodapoppin $10,000," Cummings-Bentley said. "From there, things just exploded."
Beneficiaries that spoke to the The Daily Dot said that Amhai "tests" streamers before giving them larger donations, starting them off with smaller sums and gauging their reactions. Those who are more appreciative would likely receive bigger donations.
"If he thought they were funny, or touching, he'd want to give more," Cummings-Bentley explained.
Amhai's most recent beneficiary is Lea "LegendaryLea" May, who mostly streams Blizzard's Hearthstone; Amhai has given her $22,000 in donations to date. But among all of those who have received monetary gifts from Amhai, only a few of these streamers have had direct contact with him — one of them Cummings-Bentley. However, it seems as though Amhai would rather keep his identity a secret, and Cummings-Bentley denied the rumors that he is a Middle Eastern oil baron.
"I don't think he really wants anything said about him," Cummings-Bentley said. "He is just a very, very wealthy individual."
In May, reports began circulating that streaming platform Twitch — which currently boasts more than 45 million monthly visitors and 1 million monthly broadcasters — would be acquired by YouTube as part of a $1 billion all-cash deal.