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Fortnite pro, big-time streamer, and good son pays off his mom’s student loans

Aydan credits his 1.4 million followers with the assist

A young streamer, smiling and wearing glasses and headphones, speaking into a mobile phone.
Aydan Conrad, informing his mom she’s student debt-free.
Image: Polygon screenshot via Twitch

Here’s a heartwarming story to close out your weekend: A top-flight Fortnite pro and streamer paid off all of his mother’s student loans. His livestream at the end of the week captured the moment, and his mom’s delighted, genuine surprise.

As to that, Aydan Conrad’s mother sounds more surprised by her son’s ability to engineer the payoff, rather than coming up with the money for it. Aydan has 1.4 million Twitch followers and, as a member of Ghost Gaming, more than $125,000 in Fortnite winnings, so his mom reasonably knows he has the means of retiring her loans. Still, she says, “I don’t need anything, Aydan, You’ve done enough for me.”

Besides, with regard to her student debt, “You can’t … it’s not a federal loan,” she says. “I don’t think you can touch that.” But then Aydan says the magic word — evidently the name of family, a friend, or another go-between who can make the payment happen — and his mother realizes he’s not fooling around. Cue the waterworks, especially for Aydan. Even if she’s happy, it’s still rough for anyone to hear their mom cry.

We’re not sure how much Aydan’s mother was in debt for college, but in the United States, the figures are grim enough to make it a crisis-level presidential campaign issue. The most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show that 42.9 million borrowers are responsible for $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Of that pool, $575.49 billion is held by 14.1 million borrowers ages 35 to 49 — an average of $40,814.

So, yeah, this was probably a big deal. But “it’s not me,” Aydan says modestly, “it’s all the people watching my stream right now. They made it possible.” In gratitude, Mom comes up with a thoroughly well deserved plug: “Everybody hit exclamation-point SUB and exclamation-point PRIME,” she laughs.

Aydan was most recently seen at the Fortnite World Cup Finals, earning $50,000 for finishing 37th in Tier 1 of Duos play, and another $10,000 teaming up with Robert Abisi of the DJ duo Lost Kings in the Celebrity Pro-Am.

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