A family-owned deli in the Bronx is helping out its customers in need by letting them grab free snacks from the store. The twist, however, is that they first have to get the answer right to a simple math problem!
Lucky Candy is a convenience store frequented by customers in New York City. Aside from being a place where they can grab a quick bite, the deli has become known for its fun way of helping people in need.
Ahmed Alwan, the friendly face behind the store’s counter, makes its regulars solve easy math problems and rewards them with an awesome prize – free snacks!
Ahmed has helped out at his father’s deli ever since he was 14 years old. 6 years later, he has become well-acquainted with the people in the community and knows those who might be going through financial struggles.
“I’ve always helped out people in the neighborhood. They’ve known me since I was a little kid. I know half of them by name and, ya know, sometimes they need credit,” Ahmed told TODAY. “This neighborhood has a lot of poor people. I see people — some of whom are close customers — sleeping on the train. I used to give them buttered rolls, coffee and banana for free in the morning.”
Ahmed has always been fascinated with math, and he recently thought of a way to combine it with his love for entertaining and helping people. He turned it into a game where he asks his customers to solve math problems and rewards them with a prize when they get the right answer. The incentive is that the customer will have the chance to grab as many free items as he could in five seconds.
On January 27, Ahmed debuted the math challenge and filmed it for his TikTok. By February 1, his videos have gone viral, having garnered over 5 million likes in total!
“It kind of shocked me,” Ahmed said. His real intention for doing it was just to make people laugh while helping them get something to eat. But now, it has turned into a huge deal.
In one clip, Ahmed asked the customer what is 7 times 7 plus 10. After giving the correct answer, the woman went around the store and started grabbing various food items and a newspaper. But it looked like she wanted more as she grabbed Ahmed’s arm during the last second and said, “I want you too!” as she laughed.
Another man took the opportunity to take home a new pet and grabbed Ahmed’s cat. Of course, that didn’t work, so he just bought an entire rack of nuts to the counter.
“I took the rack back ’cause I need it for my orders,” Ahmed recalled. “He took some of the peanuts and took some cash. A lot of people want cash.”
Incredibly, Ahmed gives them cash – often up to $25.
People might be wondering how all this was affecting the deli’s profits, but Ahmed says that though he’s been giving out freebies, it hasn’t taken a toll on the family’s business because he pays for the ‘free’ items with his own money.
Follow Ahmed on TikTok to see more of his fun pop quizzes.
This young man has surely found the right equation to having a good time and spreading kindness!