The Man Who Counted to a Million Jeremy Harper counted to 1,000,000 to help Push America, a charity for the disabled.

The Man Who Counted to a Million

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16548170/16548143" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

And now, another guy who tried to do some good - but in a much different way -by counting to a million, out loud, on a Web cam.

Here's Alison Stewart's interview with Jeremy Harper.

(Soundbite of video)

Mr. JEREMY HARPER (Computer Programmer): 999,998, 999,999…

ALISON STEWART, host:

So why'd he do that, you may ask? OCD may play a role. I'm not sure. But actually, Jeremy Harper locked himself in his apartment for, oh, about three months. He found out that's the time it takes to count to one million. He did it to raise money for a charity that helps people with disabilities.

Now he finished up last Friday. You remember, we dipped in and out…

LUKE BURBANK, host:

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

STEWART: …during our live Web cast earlier that day. Well, now that he's finished, he's got some time to talk to us. Hi, Jeremy.

Mr. HARPER: How are you doing?

STEWART: That's my question for you. How are you doing?

Mr. HARPER: I'm still in shocked. I've been walking around in my apartment.

BURBANK: Wait. Get out of your apartment, bro. You were there for a month and a half.

Mr. HARPER: Yeah, I know. Well, I've been out over the weekend, but, you know, I'm in here. The cameras are off, but there are still set up, and I find myself narrating a little bit, you know, when I'm doing changing camera angles and stuff like that…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HARPER: …when I shouldn't be. Yeah.

STEWART: How'd you feel when you actually reached one million?

Mr. HARPER: It's kind of funny. You know, this whole time, I felt like I've been in a power position. That sounds kind of crazy, but I've always known kind of what to say or what to do. But at that moment, I lost - I just kind of lost all control, and then, you know, I said the number. And then, it was just like a big bubble - it's kind of - just popping on me. At one time, I just said it and went with it. You know, there's a weird emotion.

STEWART: Well, let's play - apparently, it was pretty dramatic. I've not, at yet, heard this. I will confess I wanted to wait until the segment to hear a little bit. This is the moment when you reached 1 million.

(Soundbite of video)

Mr. HARPER: 999,997, 999,998, 999,999, 1 million.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: We should point out that it broke out into a chicken dance. Is that right?

Mr. HARPER: He's there to sell them, but there's so much story behind that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I'm just - you know what? I'm sure there is. So people who were wondering okay, this guy did this to raise money. How did you raise the money actually for charity?

Mr. HARPER: Just donations. We put it out there, and it started as hey, I'm just going to count; you got to donate. Then we just - we did a lot of other things. I had a sound blaster board where people could place sounds in my apartment.

We did it - we did all kinds of different things. A lot of it was covering costs, but a lot of it was - you know, I think we ended up with a - after what I said and what we got this weekend. We're close to $12,000 for Push American there. You know, it's a nice chunk of change for them but I think more for them. They're not the most prominent organization, you know, charitable organization out there. So the exposure that they received from it is the accomplishment I felt from it.

STEWART: And what's the name of that again?

Mr. HARPER: Push America.

STEWART: Push America.

BURBANK: Are you just seeing numbers in your sleep like, when you're in Vegas, and you played too much Blackjack, you closed your eyes, and you still see cards flipping. Is that you with numbers?

(Soundbite of laugher)

Mr. HARPER: You know, most people ask that, you know, do you dream about numbers? And I really didn't. The cameras that were on the whole time, I think, are really what kept me sane through the whole thing. If I would have been locked in my apartment and counted to a million and nobody was watching, I would certainly have lost my mind. I would be like, you know, just out of it.

MARTIN: That was Jeremy Harper, talking with Luke and Alison about counting to a million for charity. A side note: while counting to a million may have been a good thing for Jeremy's charity, not so good for his love life. He told us that his girlfriend actually bolted at around 700,000.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Tough.

PESCA: Some of Will Chamberlain's ex-girlfriends had that problem too, if I'm not - and he was…

MARTIN: Oh.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.