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FreeRice logo.png
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site

Click-to-donate site

Owner The World Food Programme
Created by John Breen
Launched October 7, 2007; 8 years ago (2007-10-07)
Alexa rank
66,565 (April 24)[1]
Current status Active

Freerice is an ad-supported, free-to-play website that allows players to donate to charities by playing multiple-choice quiz games. For every question the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Programme. The available subjects include English vocabulary (the original subject with which the game launched), multiplication tables, pre-algebra, chemical symbols (basic and intermediate), English grammar, SAT, foreign language vocabulary for English speakers (French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish), human anatomy, geography (flags of the world, world capitals, country identification, and world landmarks), the identification of famous artwork, literature, quotations, and world hunger. A user's total score is displayed as a mound of rice and the number of grains.


The website went live on October 7, 2007 with 830 grains of rice donated on its first day. The site was created by John Breen, a computer programmer, to help his son study for the SAT exam.[2] The second word in its name was originally capitalized as "FreeRice." On 20 November 2007, the WFP launched a campaign to "feed a child for Thanksgiving," encouraging internet users "to take time out from traditionally the busiest online shopping period of the year and help the hungry" by playing the game.[3] For a brief while, the amount of rice donated per correct answer was increased to 20 grains, though this was reduced to 10 grains of rice per answer within a few months.

In March 2009, Breen donated the FreeRice website to the UN World Food Programme.[2]

Freerice 2.0 launch[edit]

In September 2010, the UN World Food Programme launched a new version of the game with social networking, groups, rankings and achievements. As part of the launch, the site dropped the second capitalization in its name, going from "FreeRice" to "Freerice."

Freerice Language Versions[edit]

In 2011, Freerice launched new language versions of the website in Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese and Korean, allowing users to play the popular game across a number of subjects in their own language for the first time. Freerice China is currently offline, as the World Food Programme has ended its contract with the partner responsible for building and maintaining it.


The website allows creating groups to track the total donations of a group of players. Top group scores are displayed on a scoreboard.


Using the "click-to-donate" model, for every correct answer selected a sponsored advertisement is displayed below the questions. The total funds raised through the sponsored ads covers the cost of the rice donated. All the costs for running the website are covered by the site owner, the United Nations's World Food Programme or vendors supplying their services free of charge.[citation needed] The donations are distributed by the (WFP).

The most common countries receiving rice are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Bhutan, Uganda, and Nepal, but Freerice can travel all over the world (as of early 2008). Following the earthquake in Haiti, nearly 6 billion grains were donated to help communities there. By this time, the site's creator had given over US$213,000 to the WFP, which encouraged people to visit the website.[4]

Total donations to date.


In its first ten months of operation, Freerice donated over 42 billion grains of rice. One month after the inception of the viral marketing program, users had earned enough points for one billion grains of rice. The United Nation's World Food Program stated that this amount could feed 50,000 people for one day,[5] since it takes 400 grams or about 19,200 grains of rice to feed one adult for a day.[6] Using this calculation, enough rice was donated in 2008 to feed over 6,000 people daily for each day of that year.[7] Since its inception, as of April 3, 2013, Freerice players had earned sufficient rice for over 10 million meals, assuming 2 meals per day.


  • Digital Communications Award 2011 – Best Corporate Game
  • TIME Magazine – 50 Best Websites 2011
  • 15th Annual Webby Awards – Honoree
  • 2010 Parent's Choice Awards – Online Learning
  • TIME Magazine – 50 Best Websites 2008
  • Yahoo! Pick of the Year 2007 – Charity Category – Winner[8]
  • Berkman Award to creator, John Breen. He was recognized with a Berkman Award on May 16, 2008 for creating At the Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s tenth anniversary gala dinner, recipients of the Berkman Awards were chosen for their outstanding contributions to the Internet’s impact on society over the past 10 years.

Monthly count[edit]

Average number of adults fed per day by daily average of each month.


Month Monthly grains of rice donated Overall grains of rice donated
January 2014 349,662,210 101,415,929,916[note 1]
February 2014 241,367,520 101,657,297,436
March 2014 219,342,840 101,876,640,276
April 2014 216,473,200 102,093,113,476
May 2014 191,988,980 102,285,102,456
June 2014 252,428,280 102,537,530,736
July 2014 145,472,000 102,683,002,736
August 2014 136,309,740 102,819,312,476
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014

Total All Dates (as of August 2014): 102,819,312,476[note 1] [11]


  • October 7, 2007 – Freerice launches with 830 grains of rice donated on its first day
  • November 10, 2007 – Freerice breaks the one-day 100,000,000-grain milestone with 122,377,240 donated grains
  • November 28, 2007 – With continued sponsor support, Freerice doubles the number of grains donated for each correct definition from 10 to 20
  • December 17, 2007 – Freerice breaks the one-day 300,000,000-grain milestone with 358,559,540 donated grains
  • December 19, 2007 – 10 billion grains donated in total
  • April 2, 2008 – 25 billion grains donated in total
  • November 11, 2008 – 50 billion grains donated in total
  • September 2010 – a new version of the game was launched with social networking and group functionality
  • January 2011 – 85 billion grains donated in total
  • June 2011 – A Spanish version is launched
  • September 2011 – A French version and Italian version are launched
  • October 2011 – A Chinese version is launched
  • December 2011 – A Korean version is launched
  • January 2012 – Over 94 billion grains donated in total and over 1 million registered players
  • February 2012 – The first official World Freerice Week was held, and two new subjects launched (World Landmarks and Human Anatomy)
  • April 2012 – Launched an SAT subject
  • August 2013 – Reached 100 billion grains of rice[note 1]
  • February 2015 – 300 billion grains donated in total


Glitch Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Freerice's totals seem to have glitched around September 2013. Comparing shots from May and Sept of 2013, the 2010 totals curiously drop from ~13 billion to 9 bil grains; also, closed months in 2013 suddenly increase as well (for example, January 2013 went from 274 mil to 786 mil). Finding it unlikely that billions of grains can be recalled nearly 3 years after they were eaten, I calculate the values here from previous records instead. Recalling how 2010 was the year Free Rice ("1.0") transitioned to Freerice 2.0, the "new" 2010 total seems strangely similar to amounts my records attribute to the original Free Rice. In other words, the new count resembles the result of subtracting 2.0 grains from the old 2010 count. While this result came out 19 mil grains higher than recorded for 1.0, that discrepancy may be explained by how the transition on the 7th of October had prevented this Wikipedian from recording "1.0" grains from the first 6 days of that month since initial 2.0 total page seemed to exclude them. (I imagine perhaps Freerice saw that the totals were less than expected but did not know they were missing from 2010, and so fudged the prior months of 2013 to make up for the missing grains?) -CodeHydro
  2. ^ - Freerice totals - 2013 Sept 28
  3. ^ - Freerice totals - 2013 May 29

External links[edit]