Burger King Offering $1M to One Customer Who Creates a New Whopper

By: Alex Trent | Published: Feb 14, 2024

Burger King is bringing new Whoppers back to eager customers, but this time, they get to choose. As part of a promotion, the company has created a contest for customers to submit their craziest ideas for the chance to win $1 million and see their twisted creations on Burger King menus in the United States.

This contest puts Burger King fans in even more control, thanks to the number of options available for sandwich customization.

The Contest Details

This Million Dollar Whopper contest is currently running until March 17. In that time, customers can go to Burger King’s website and design their perfect Whopper from over 200,000 possible combinations.

The exterior of a Burger King.

Source: Justin Wolff/Unsplash

Burger King will then select three finalists to visit their headquarters. These three final Whoppers will then be released to restaurants across the country, where customers can vote on the one they want to win.


Have It Your Way for the First Time

With Burger King’s iconic slogan “Have It Your Way,” it’s surprising that this is the first time the company is doing something like this. Burger King’s chief marketing officer, Pat O’Toole, released a statement attesting to this ideal.

A whopper from the Burger King restaurant.

Source: Justin Wolff/Unsplash

“Burger King is all about having it your way, and this contest is a true embodiment of that. More than 50 percent of guests customize their Whopper sandwich, and now, the possibilities of what those customizations include are endless,” he said. (Via Burger King)

Other Recent Whoppers

In addition to this contest, Burger King has recently introduced the Candied Bacon Whopper. They also brought back the Whopper melt line of burgers and the Impossible Whopper.

A delicious-looking Impossible Whopper with the wrapping in the background.

Source: Tony Webster/Wikimedia

The Impossible Whopper is an entirely plant-based burger made without meat. It has since become a permanent menu item, unlike many of Burger King’s products, which can only purchased for a limited time.

Origin of the Whopper

The Whopper was introduced by Burger King nearly 70 years ago. In 1957, the cofounder of Burger King, James McLamore, created it in response to a rival restaurant that was selling a big burger.

A Whopper combo containing a burger, fries, and a drink.

Source: user Siqbal/Wikimedia

The original tagline “A Meal in Itself” proved to be highly successful with customers. It was sold for only 37 cents, and some consider it as the starting point where fast food restaurants started focusing on size to appeal to customers.

The Whopper's Endurance Over the Years

Even though the Whopper was not part of Burger King’s original product line-up, it has become iconic over the years, becoming synonymous with the restaurant itself.

A Burger King sign outside a restaurant.

Source: Ismail Hadine/Unsplash

Other fast-food competitors, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, have tried to dethrone its status over the years, but arguably none of their products have had the same impact or achieved the same level of longevity.


The Whopper Jr.

In contrast to the original Whopper, the Whopper Jr. was created by accident years later by Luis Arenas-Perez in 1963. When the first Burger King opened in Puerto Rico, the restaurant did not have the proper molds for the buns meant to house the Goliath-sized burger.

A Whopper Jr from Burger King, wrapped in a protective food wrapper

Source: Kyu3/Wikimedia

They were forced to use much smaller buns to sell the Whopper, but the result was widely popular. The company later officially integrated the burger as the “Whopper Jr.”


Windows 7 Whopper

A bizarre collaboration between Microsoft and Burger King led to the creation of the Windows 7 Whopper in Japan. As the name suggests, the burger features seven thinly stacked patties on a Whopper bun.

A look at the Windows 7 burger that was released in Japan.

Source: Tomomori/Wikimedia

Despite its weird look and name, it was surprisingly popular. They sold so many burgers that Burger King decided to extend the promotional period an additional nine days past the original end date.


The Moldy Whopper

In 2020, Burger King instituted a push to avoid artificial preservatives in their food products. As part of this effort, they ran an ad campaign, showing a Whopper from their restaurant decomposing over 34 days.

The "Moldy Whopper" from Burger King with a black background and a decomposing hamburger

Source: YouTube/Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF

Luckily, the Moldy Whopper was not an actual product that customers could purchase. The campaign was a success, reportedly achieving an even higher level of customer awareness than their 2019 Super Bowl ad spot.


Comparisons to Past Campaigns

This current campaign by Burger King is drawing comparisons to other campaigns by fast food companies. McDonald’s instituted a design your own burger campaign called “Create Your Taste” in 2016.

A view of a McDonald’s restaurant at night.

Source: Visual Karsa/Unsplash

This contest allowed people to post their burger submissions online on the official McDonald’s New Zealand webpage. This was grossly abused by contestants to cause the contest homepage to be filled with offensive and gross burgers. Ultimately, McDonald’s had to end the promotion.


Fast Food Restaurants Are Struggling

In recent years, customers have been turning away from fast food. After the pandemic and the rise of inflation in the economy, people started noticing just how much eating out was hurting their wallets.

A Burger King with no one inside.

Source: Ser Amantio di Nicolao/Wikimedia

This Burger King contest will at least put $1 million in the hands of one of their customers, meaning they probably won’t have too much trouble affording to eat out.


Burger King’s Prices

Burger King is not immune to the struggles of other restaurants in the fast-food industry. According to MoneyGeek, the industry on average raised its prices by nearly 9% in one year between 2021 and 2022.

A line of customers waiting for their orders from a Burger King.

Source: Mr. Churasan/Wikimedia

MoneyGeek found that Burger King’s largest price increase totaled more than a 21% increase across 39 major cities. Their analysis showed that Burger King was the restaurant chain with the average price increase in the country during that time.