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All Zack Danger Brown wanted to do was make potato and find a few dollars for ingredients. He has amassed 4000 supporters and at one point had about $US50,000 in financial support from a campaign on Internet fundraiser Kickstarter.
"Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet," the 31-year-old Ohio man wrote on the campaign page.
He was initially asking for $10 to make the picnic side dish but word quickly spread about his endeavour, which became a global sensation.
"The thing people are responding to is the opportunity to come together around something equal parts absurd and mundane. Potato salad isn't controversial, but it seems to unite us all," Brown wrote on an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.
The financial support numbers have wavered with donors signing up or pulling out as the campaign has garnered more attention.
User comments have asked Brown to donate the excess amount of cash to a charity, but that violates Kickstarter's terms to prevent backers from unknowingly donating to causes they do not support.
Brown is promising donors who give $3 or more a "bite" of one of four possible recipes, including a vegan option.
"It might not be that good. It's my first potato salad," he said.