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FreeRice logo.png
Type of site
Click-to-donate site
HeadquartersRome, Italy
OwnerThe World Food Programme
Created byJohn Breen
Alexa rankNegative increase 51,505 (February 12, 2018)[1]
LaunchedOctober 7, 2007; 11 years ago (2007-10-07)
Current statusActive

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 Beta Launch[edit]

In August 2018, the UN World Food Programme launched a newer, more improved version of the game on a new website. The beta has a new interface and is mobile-friendly.

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. In 2012, Freerice deleted the rice earned from several of its top participants while ridding the site of bots, which was followed by several years of various difficulties.


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]

5215489455152Total 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 138,291,660[11]
October 2014 123,305,060+[11]
November—December 2014 [12]


Month Monthly grains of rice donated Overall grains of rice donated
January 2016 264,980,280
February 2016 525,172,070
March 2016 347,065,700
April 2016 199,722,090
May 2016 860,194,410
June 2016 742,793,630
July 2016 425,293,700
August 2016 130,513,090
September 2016 132,992,450
October 2016 196,426,640
November 2016 157,675,040
December 2016 155,588,110


Month Monthly grains of rice donated Overall grains of rice donated
January 2017 554,882,920
February 2017 246,143,340
March 2017 149,909,530
April 2017 132,419,590
May 2017 161,808,240
June 2017 115,069,080
July 2017 105,594,800
August 2017 121,419,950
September 2017 158,348,360
October 2017 174,342,570
November 2017 173,410,120
December 2017 -4,124,719,596


Month Monthly grains of rice donated Overall grains of rice donated
January 2018 319,171,080 94,148,714,362
February 2018 149,158,610 94,297,872,972
March 2018 175,011,940 94,472,884,912
April 2018 137,136,210 94,610,021,122
May 2018 144,932,900 94,754,954,022
June 2018 107,808,870 94,862,762,892
July 2018 106,242,860 94,969,005,752
August 2018 91,461,150 95,060,466,902
September 2018 77,961,650 95,138,428,552
October 2018 88,640,370 95,227,068,922
November 2018 89,331,160 95,316,400,082

Total All Dates (as of August 2014): 102,819,312,476[note 1] [13]

Modified data as of November 30, 2018: 95,316,400,082.[14]


  • 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), and soon thereafter deletes millions of grains earned by top participants confused with bots
  • April 2012 – Launched an SAT subject
  • August 2013 – Reached 100 billion grains of rice[note 1]
  • February 2015 – 300 billion grains donated in total


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  2. ^ a b Ceceri, Kathy (2010-03-04). "Free Rice Expands Your Word Power and Feeds the Hungry".
  3. ^ "Feed a child for Thanksgiving". Archived from the original on 2007-11-25.
  4. ^ Freerice in WFP's video log Archived 2008-03-11 at the Wayback Machine. (accessed on February 7, 2008).
  5. ^ "Web game provides rice for hungry". BBC News. 2007-11-10.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Total Donations By Date". Archived from the original on 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  8. ^ Find of the Year 2007, Category Charity (accessed on February 7, 2008).
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ a b - Freerice totals - 2014 Oct 31 Only partial totals are available for October 31, but about as close as we're going to get for the full month as we currently have.
  12. ^ The full year totals for have been glitched since at least Jan 2015 and now display negative numbers. Without these totals we cannot calculate overall grains donated.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  14. ^ "Totals |". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2016-06-25.

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

Freerice glitched in late December 2015, and the yearly total became a negative number, thus subtracting the year's totals from the aggregate total. The problem has reappeared in 2015 and 2016, so the issue appear to be with 32-bit signed binary integers counting the grains. This explains why the displayed total is so much lower than the true total.

External links[edit]