On Monday, while Candace Payne (a.k.a. Chewbacca Mask Lady) was on a family vacation, she visited the campus of Southeastern University, a private Christian liberal arts university located in Lakeland, Florida, and there, President Dr. Kent Ingle presented Chewbacca Mask Lady with full tuition scholarships for her entire family, including her husband and two children.
"Candace has inspired us and others with her joy, and we want her and her family to experience some of that same joy through this gift," Ingle said.
"This is such an amazing gift for our family, I'm blown away," Chewbacca Mask Lady said. "I mean, my kids' college is paid for!"
Several weeks ago, the 37-year-old Texas mother went to Kohl's to return ill-fitting clothes and happened to come across a Chewbacca mask that she had to own. When she got in her car, she recorded a video of herself unboxing the mask, putting it on, and laughing with glee as it emitted the Wookiee's signature roar. Within 24 hours of uploading the video, which is titled "The simple joys in life," it received 20 million views. As of today, it has over 150 million views and is, by far, the most watched Facebook Live video of all time.
Since the video provided free publicity for Kohl's, Star Wars, Hasbro and Facebook, Candace has been showered with gifts from all of them. Kohl's gave her toys and gift cards. The Force Awakens director, J.J. Abrams, hung out with her for a sketch on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Hasbro gave her more Star Wars toys. Facebook head, Mark Zuckerberg, invited the social media star to Facebook Headquarters.