June 6, 2014— -- The charity fundraiser started by "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin will likely reach its goal only one day after launching. Two people have already claimed the grand prize: pay $20,000 a pop for Martin to name a character after you in an upcoming "Game of Thrones" book.
Martin's project is raising money for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Martin lives with his wife, Parris. The campaign is hosted on celebrity-based sweepstakes fundraising site Prizeo.com with a goal of raising $200,000 by August 4.
Fans can receive different levels of prizes based on how much they donate, such as being flown to New Mexico to meet Martin. There were only two top-level prizes available, called the "martyr" level, reserved for a man and a woman. Martin will name a future character after these two winners and they will choose their "character's station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!" the Prizeo website states.
Leo Seigal, co-founder of Prizeo, declined to reveal details of the two grand prize winners, but he said this fundraising campaign is the company's most viral fundraiser and fastest growing campaign dollar-wise.
Though the grand prize has been claimed, other prizes include keeping one of Martin's "old Greek sailor caps" for $7,500. After you enter the drawing, Prizeo's "pick-a-friend" feature asks you to choose which friend (via Facebook, Twitter, or email) you'll bring with you, if you win an experience.
The project's donors so far are from 58 countries, with the U.S. in the lead, followed by the U.K. Donors also hail from other countries, such as Ecuador, Bangladesh and Taiwan.
Jill Gentry, development director for the Food Depot, described Martin and his wife as "passionate" and "down to earth" supporters of the local food bank.
"They’re very real. You can talk to them like absolutely normal people. You don't have to roll out the red carpet, as though you’re talking to somebody well above you. His wife, Parris, is so passionate about feeding children. It’s just like talking to your neighbor," she said.