Matt Damon and Ben Affleck raise over $1 million for charity through poker


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of distress and hardship to many people, most notably the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. With many countries opting for strict lockdown measures to try and contain the virus, economies across the world have slowed to a standstill, causing millions of people to lose their jobs and sources of income.

Source: Fox News

This has hit the poor especially hard, as they do not have the luxury of savings to fall back on in times like these. Thus, there have been huge fundraising efforts across the world for people to try and help those who are suffering the most from this crisis. Be it charities that help distribute food to the poor and needy, to organizations helping provide shelter to the homeless, there are hundreds of worthy charities out there doing their best to serve and provide for those who are vulnerable.

Celebrities have joined these causes as well, using their fame to raise money for a number of organizations, and one such event by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck managed to raise over $1.75 million.

Hollywood stars Damon and Affleck joined forces with Feeding America, a non-profit organization which provides food to the less fortunate, to set up a celebrity poker game, with the proceeds going to the charity. This live casino event had a buy-in of $10,000, and saw a number of celebrities join Damon and Affleck at the virtual poker table. Some of the most famous names included Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, comedian and recent Oscar nominee Adam Sandler, NFL legend Tom Brady, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, comedian Sarah Silverman, former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, Mad Men lead John Hamm, Arrested Development star Jason Bateman, director Kevin Smith, and actress Cheryl Hines.

The event saw professional poker player Ebony Kenney take the win, with veteran actor Kevin Pollack finishing second, while Bryan Cranston came in fifth and Tobey Maguire also placed well amongst the celebrity participants. The tournament was given a professional feel of sorts by pro poker commentators Justin Kelly and Michael Loncar, who hosted the event on the game streaming platform Twitch.

Of course, this is not the first time that Damon and Affleck have joined forces, with the schoolmates having memorably teamed up in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, for which they won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. With movie releases being pushed back indefinitely for the time being due to lockdown measures across the globe, and shoots for upcoming movies being postponed as well, events like these are a great way to raise money for good causes, as well as providing fans with content from their favorite stars.

Feeding America has already raised over $100 million and distributed over 90 million pounds of food since setting up their COVID-19 response fund last month, and this effort by Damon and Affleck will only add to their ability to feed those who are falling into food insecurity as a result of this crisis.