When two young sisters asked their dad for a puppy, he didn't say no. Instead, Ryan Cordell told them they'd have to get a million likes on Facebook before he agreed to a canine friend in the house.
The Cordell children, Cadence, 12, Emerson, 9, and their three younger brothers, posed for a photo, taken by their mom, holding a sign that read.
"Hi World...We want a puppy! Our dad said we could get one if we get 1 million likes! He doesn't think we can do it! So "LIKE" this!"
They posted the photo on a Facebook page they named "Twogirlsandapuppy" and the photo went viral. Within six hours, the young girls reached their million-likes goal.
"Mom and dad are officially stunned," Ryan wrote on the Facebook page later that evening, noting that the kids were sleeping when they met their goal. "We will have five ecstatic kids in the morning."
"I thought I was being very clever saying you'd have to get a million likes," Cordell, a digital-media professor at Northeastern University, tells WHDH, who lived up to his promise.
"They definitely earned it," Cordell admitted. "They proved Dad wrong. That's for sure."
"My expectation when they came to me was that they would post it and maybe they would get several thousand people who would come to the site over a couple of weeks. It would be family and friends. And then I did expect that friends of friends would find it and would come. But I just thought it would kind of peter out at that point," he tells the Atlantic.
The Cordells, a family of seven from Mansfield, Massachussets, adopted a Lab-Shepherd mix from North Shore Animal League America, a no-kill animal rescue and adoption centre. They named the pup Mille. (Full name: Millie Smore Cordell.)
Because of the worldwide response to the photo, the Cordells are carefully moderating the Facebook page to protect their kids from trolls — and to ensure privacy.
"It's a little bit scary, but I have 20 close friends that are moderating the page and they go in there and make sure there are no nasty comments. They are helping answer the thousands of messages we’ve gotten," the kids' mom, Evie Cordell, tells WHDH.
Evie adds that there won't be another Facebook challenge in the near future.
"They didn't quite believe it had happened so quickly," Evie tells ABC News. "My youngest daughter thinks every million we reach, we should get another puppy, which is not going to happen."
Remi and his little sister adopted a tabby cat named Hairyette Pawter from a cat shelter.
In another Facebook "like" story similar to these, Norweigan friends Petter Kverneng and Catherine Johansen, both 20, agreed to have sex with one another if their photo garnered a million likes.
"It was meant as a joke for our group of friends," Kverneng tells the Norwegian publication Verdalingen.no.
The picture quickly passed the benchmark.
Joke or not, they claim they'll follow through with their deal. Hopefully they won't post the evidence on Facebook.
Whatever happened to Truth or Dare?
Parents, beware the viral potential when making deals with your kids. One million likes isn't impossible.