William James Mitchell Jr. (Born: July 16, 1965) is the Gamer of the Century known to the world as Billy Mitchell. Billy won numerous arcade competitions in the 1980s and 1990s. He still holds records in Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
Billy Mitchell Early Beginnings
While most of the viral stars on Famousss have risen to prominence in the last decade, this one was the original gaming juggernaut. Mitchell grew up in southern Florida where he attended Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School.
As a child, Billy played a lot of pinball. He didn’t care about video games in the arcade until Donkey Kong hit big. By the time he was 16, Billy had started partaking in Donkey Kong and Pac-Man tournaments with friends. These hobbies would end up being career-making moves for a young Billy Mitchell.
Billy Mitchell Gets Featured in Life Magazine
Billy Mitchell became driven to be the best Donkey Kong player. He reached out to Walter Day, who worked at the Ottawa, Iowa arcade known as Twin Galaxies. Twin Galaxies was the predominant recordkeeper for arcade scores and records.
Walter told Billy that 1.4 million was the official Donkey Kong record. It was held by Steve Sanders. Mitchell knew that score was unreachable, for he would always hit a kill screen at level 22.
In 1982, Billy Mitchell set the Donkey Kong record of 874,300. This number became the new record because the 1.4 million was unattainable. The Billy Mitchell Donkey Kong record would stand for 18 years.
His monumental achievement caught the eye of editors at Life Magazine. They performed a photoshoot with Mitchell and other notable players in the arcade scene. This issue was released in November 1982.
Billy Mitchell Becomes Player of the Year
Mitchell maintained a strong relationship with Walter Day. They tried to start a 40-city tour known as the Electronic Circus. The twosome would join other gamers to show off their arcade skills. However, the deal fell through.
Walter Day started the U.S. National Video Game Team and started touring the world. He brought Billy Mitchell along with him to judge if people who claimed high scores were lying.
Billy’s skills really impressed Walter. He named Mitchell the 1984 Player of the Year. Unfortunately, the 1983 video game crash caused Twin Galaxies to close. For the next ten years, Billy focused on being the manager for his family’s restaurant, Rickey’s Restaurant.
Billy Mitchell Pac-Man Challenge and Gamer of the Century
In 1982, an eight-year claimed they scored six million points in Pac-Man. He even got a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan!
However, Billy protested that there was a kill screen in level 256. Billy Mitchell guaranteed the highest score would be 3,333,600. To achieve this score, you must not die and collect every possible point before the kill screen hits.
The closest to ever surpass 3,333,600 was in 1999 when a group of players hit 90 points less. Mitchell then hit his famous score in an arcade in Laconia, New Hampshire, to cement his world record.
The makers of Pac-Man, Namco, brought Billy Mitchell to the Tokyo Game Show. They named him the Video Game Player of the Century.
Billy Mitchell Set Donkey Kong Record Controversies
Billy Mitchell made a return to gaming in 2004. He set a new Donkey Kong high of 933,900 during the Midwest Gaming Classic. The Oxford American described Mitchell as “The greatest arcade video game player of all-time.”
This record started a fire within Steve Wiebe. He started a documentary known as The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters to document his journey to beat Mitchell’s record.
In 2007, Wiebe hit over one million in his home with no witnesses. He finally recorded the feat. Twin Galaxies accepted the video at first but took it back.
Later that year, Wiebe hit a new record of over one million in front of multiple witnesses. Twin Galaxies accepted this record. Hours later, Mitchell showed Twin Galaxies a videotape where he reached 1,047,200. His win was not accepted because he had no witnesses.
Billy Mitchell Condemned By Twin Galaxies
Billy Mitchell’s tight-knit relationship with Twin Galaxies became volatile in 2017. He recorded himself setting Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong, Jr. record on the same day.
Circuit boards were swapped in between runs. During this time, the video was stopped. Therefore, no record-breaking win was shot in one take.
In 2018, Twin Galaxies accused Mitchell of emulating his arcade play with a platform called MAME. They nullified Mitchell’s results. By April, Twin Galaxies concluded Billy Mitchell used MAME to create his high scores. He is no longer allowed to submit scores to Twin Galaxies.
Billy Mitchell Twitch Stream
Since Billy Mitchell was wiped from Twin Galaxies’ records, they also took away his Pac-Man and Donkey Kong high scores. Mitchell’s son encouraged him to start a Twitch account.
Now, Billy Mitchell tries to beat his old scores on a livestream. His content also includes tournaments, including the July 2019 Australian tournament he won.
While Twin Galaxies still won’t acknowledge Billy Mitchell’s record, he is still recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. They reinstated his record in June 2020.
Other Billy Mitchell Record Success
Billy Mitchell also dominated the Ms. Pac-Man scene for a long time. He set the record high in January 1985 when he hit 703,560.
This impressive record would stand until 2001. He was surpassed by his friend and content contributor, Chris Aya.
The gaming star also hit a score of 7,881,050 in BurgerTime. That record was set in 1984 and held strong until 2005.
Billy Mitchell and Rickey’s Restaurants
Billy Mitchell has cashed on his success and invested in his family’s restaurants. The Rickey’s restaurants are open in Hollywood, Florida and Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Not only is their food popular, but so are their condiments. In fact, they sell Rickey’s World Famous Hot Sauce. You can also purchase these online.
Billy Mitchell on AEW Dynamite
Recently, Billy Mitchell showed up playing video games on All Elite Wrestling Dynamite. In the segment, he was playing with Miro.
They were planning the bachelor party for AEW professional wrestler, Kip Sabian. He is real-life and storyline engaged to fellow wrestler and Twitch star, Penelope Ford.