The annual charity fundraising event Desert Bus for Hope has, as of the close of its latest marathon, raised over $6 million for charity in the 12 years since its very first run.
All in all, 2019’s days-long saga raised $864,415 for the charity Child’s Play. The core of the annual event is a live-streamed session Desert Bus minigame from the unreleased 1995 Sega CD game Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors.
That segment simulates a real-time bus trip between Tuscon, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, requiring players to take control of the bus for eight actual, real world hours to complete the journey.
The Desert Bus for Hope adopted the strange mini-game into a live-streamed charity event where the journey lasts as long as donations over a gradually increasing threshold continue to roll in, all the while hosting guests and charity events as the bus rolls along.
This year’s event saw the trip lasting 162 total hours, and tipping the event’s lifetime earnings over that $6 million mark. Last year’s event, for comparison, raised $730,099 and kept the bus moving for 160 to surpass $5 million lifetime raised.