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Desert Bus for Hope motors past $5 million raised all-time

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Masochists for a cause still have another dozen hours at the wheel

Desert Bus for Hope 2018 drivers doing a dance Kolin Toney/Desert Bus for Hope

Desert Bus for Hope, the absurdist gaming marathon for a good cause now in its 12th year, eclipsed $5 million in money raised, lifetime, yesterday evening.

Organizers LoadingReadyRun also reported the largest single auction bid in the drive’s history, $12,000. So far, this year’s marathon has raised more than $590,000 and has driven Desert Bus, an excruciatingly boring, unreleased minigame for Sega CD, for more than six days nonstop. The proceeds go to Child’s Play, the Penny Arcade philanthropy that gives video games and toys to children’s hospitals nationwide.

In Desert Bus for Hope, marathoners commit to driving the virtual bus for an hour, whose “price” is seven percent higher than the preceding hour’s. The first hour starts at a dollar, then compounds. This morning, Desert Bus for Hope projected they still had another 15 hours to drive.

The most Desert Bus for Hope has raised in a single marathon was $695,242.57 in 2016. The series, one of the first high visibility gaming marathons for charity, reached $1 million in donations in 2012, $2 million in 2014, $3 million in 2016, and $4 million last year.