When Scott Fisher went to bed on August 1, the mic he had put up for auction had one bid for $500 (Dh1,836.52), the starting price.
But when he awoke on August 2, the highest bid he saw had a couple more zeros — someone was willing to buy it for $50,000 (Dh183,651.76).
Fisher, who owns a sound production company in Nevada, US, has 16 identical mics. But the one he put up for auction was flung into a crowd by rapper Cardi B on Saturday after a fan threw a drink at her during a concert. Videos of the Las Vegas incident went viral, garnering millions of views. When the auction closes next week, Fisher plans to donate the money to charities that work with veterans and people with special needs.
Though Fisher, 55, called the mic a “piece of hip hop infamy” on the eBay auction page, the overnight rise in bids astonished him. The Shure Axient digital mic, which is regularly used for concerts, usually retails for around $2,000 (Dh7,346.07), he said.
Videos from the concert posted on social media showed Cardi B saying “somebody splash me with water” at some point before the incident. While the rapper was performing ‘Bodak Yellow’ later, a fan threw their drink up toward her, videos show. The artist, seemingly angered that the drink got in her face, then threw the mic she was holding into the crowd.
The next day, a concertgoer filed a police report, saying she was “struck by an item that was thrown from the stage,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. As of August 2 evening, there had not been any arrests or citations, the department said.
On July 30, an employee sent Fisher a TikTok video showing the incident. He received links to similar social media posts from others throughout the day and noticed their views were skyrocketing.
That afternoon, Fisher made his own Facebook posts about the incident.
“It was so nice waking up to multiple people sending me links to the video of Cardi B winging one of my mics at somebody,” Fisher wrote.
Fisher reached out to the venue to ask whether they knew which mic had been thrown so he could inspect it before adding it back to the company’s rental inventory. He learnt it was the mic that had been marked by white tape, with “MAIN” written in Sharpie, during the sound check.
By then, he had also received comments and messages on Facebook from people who expressed interest in buying it.
Fisher, who previously auctioned off equipment only to rid the company of old inventory, had a better idea — to use the mic’s sudden notability for a good cause.
He decided to sell it to raise money for two charities.
First, he chose Friendship Circle Las Vegas, a group that supports people with special needs. He had worked with the organisation previously at the request of his rabbi, providing microphones and other equipment for fund-raisers. Fisher’s second choice, the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit dedicated to programs for veterans and service members, was inspired by his father and his son-in-law, who served in the Air Force and Marine Corps, respectively.
Fisher started the eBay auction on August 1 morning. Over the next day, as local television stations covered the story, he watched the bids rise.
As of August 3 evening, the high bid was more than $98,000 (Dh359,957.45).
As the auction gets more buzz, Fisher has become wary, worried that some of the bids are illegitimate or were put in as jokes. He hopes to verify the bids before the auction ends Tuesday so his efforts won’t be wasted.
“It’s to do a good thing,” Fisher said.