A prankster dad and his kids are having a ball—literally—in a YouTube video that has been viewed more than 8 million times since Sunday.
Rowan Atwood, whose prank video channel has more than 5 million subscribers, posted a three-minute video over the weekend of his latest joke and it was pretty much every little kid’s dream: He turned the entire first floor of his house into a ball pit.
Think of those birthday party pools of plastic brightly colored balls… now imagine those balls, two and a half feet deep, from wall to wall of your house. That was the reality for Atwood’s kids, 10-year-old Noah and 3-year-old Kane, when their dad decided to prank his girlfriend Brittney Smith. The video shows Atwood first loading the balls into the house, and then the boys and their friends swimming and surfing in the sea of balls. Atwood even put a trampoline in the middle of the living room, so that he and some friends could dive from the second floor balcony into the pool of plastic balls.
When Smith arrives home at the end of the day, she opens the door and balls come pouring out – and she is, understandably, stunned. But the prank is much less controversial than Atwood’s last headline-grabbing stunt, in which he pretended to throw his toddler off the balcony of the second floor, causing his girlfriend to panic and tell Atwood he’d be sleeping on the couch that night. (Even prankster king Ashton Kutcher called that one “too far.”) This time around, Smith had a much more positive reaction. She can’t help but smile and laugh – and eventually play in the ballroom herself.
A 17-minute “extras” video on Atwood’s vlog channel shows a 53-foot semi pulling up to his house filled with 250,000 plastic balls – “We have the most inventory of these balls in the United States,” Atwood explains. As it turned out, the prank only called for half that many. It also shows a laughing Smith saying what most parents watching the video must be thinking, “I’m not cleaning that up!”
Even amidst the pranking, Atwood is clearly looking out for his kids. When a visibly exhausted Kane tries to catch his breath on the stairs, Atwood offers a tip: “Just remember, anytime you want to take a break, the whole upstairs is clean.”
Ultimately, Atwood and Smith agree the prank is a success: “How can I be mad?” Smith points out. “Look at the kids!”