'Disaster Girl' Meme Sells Original Picture for Almost Half a Million Dollars

Scarlett Adler

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Facebook via Dave Roth

The online world has blessed us with some pretty entertaining (and only slightly questionable) content over the years. But how about the time we watched a little girl mischievously smile at the camera while a house was burning down behind her?

Zoe Roth, Disaster girl
Facebook via Dave Roth

Of course, we’re talking about Zoë Roth, a.k.a, the face behind the “Disaster Girl” meme. If by some chance you already forgot? Allow us to refresh your memory: Back in ’05, David Roth and his 4-year-old daughter went to see a controlled burn in their North Carolina neighborhood, when the amused dad snapped a pic - and the rest is, well, history.

Since then, the viral picture brought the dynamic duo to online stardom. But that's not all it did. Fast forward to today, and Mr. and Miss Roth officially have a hefty check to show for it - almost half a million, to be exact. Yep, you read that right.

Zoe, Disaster Girl, Meme
Facebook via Dave Roth

On Thursday, April 29, the famous picture sold at an auction as a non-fungible token (NFT) for about $473,000. And we'd be lying if we said we weren't a little bit jealous. As for how she and her dad plan on spending their hefty payout?

Zoe Roth, Disaster Girl
Facebook via Zoe Roth

According to Zoë, who, by the way, is now 21-years-old, (feel old yet?), she plans on donating most of the proceeds of the sale to organizations. As for the rest? She'll be using it to pay off her student loans from her time at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Zoe, Disaster Girl, Sold
Facebook via Zoe Roth

"People who are in memes and go viral is one thing, but just the way the internet has held on to my picture and kept it viral, kept it relevant, is so crazy to me," Roth gushed to the New York Times of her stardom. "I'm super grateful for the entire experience."

Zoe, Disaster Girl, Meme
Facebook via Zoe Roth

Sure enough, 16 years later, and we still can't get her hilarious (and only slightly haunting) image out of our heads. But if we've learned one thing from her time on our screen? It's that the internet is full of surprises.

We'd stay tuned...