Zoe Roth is better known as "Disaster Girl"—the enigmatically smiling little girl in one of the Internet's best-known memes. But while some people complain that memes ruined their lives, things have worked out pretty well for Roth, who is now a 21-year-old senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reports. She was four years old in 2005 when father Dave Roth took a picture of her in front of a building firefighters were putting out after a planned burn. The image went viral—and her face was Photoshopped in front of countless disasters—after it appeared in JPG magazine three years later She says she was contacted earlier this year by somebody suggesting she sell the original as a non-fungible token—NFT—and was initially skeptical.
But after doing some research—and speaking to other meme subjects including "Bad Luck Brian"—Roth and her father hired a lawyer and manager to take care of the sale, reports MarketWatch. Like many other digital originals sold as NFTs, pieces of digital property verifiable through blockchain technology, the original photo sold for a hefty price: It was auctioned off last week for the cryptocurrency equivalent of more than $430,000. The code used to "mint" the NFT also gives Roth 10% of any future sale. Roth is splitting the proceeds four ways with her parents and her brother, and plans to donate her share to nonprofits. "Like I said, her brother, Tristan, was there that day, and he could've been 'Disaster Boy,'" her father says. Roth has also made plans to someday meet "Bad Luck Brian" and "Overly Attached Girlfriend" for a drink. (Read more NFT stories.)