Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers CEO Todd Graves
Source: Twitter (@ToddGraves)

The Real Reason Why Todd Graves Spent $100,000 on 50,000 Lotto Tickets

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Jul. 26 2022, Updated 11:51 a.m. ET

Entrepreneur and restaurateur Todd Graves is being rather generous these days with his fortune. The Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers co-founder and CEO announced on July 25 via Twitter that he would be buying 50,000 Mega Millions lottery tickets, and would share the winning jackpot with all 50,000 of his employees (given he wins).

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If a Mega Millions ticket cost $2 per play, that means Graves spent $100,000 on lottery tickets alone, with the hopes of winning the $810 million prize. If Graves is able to cough up that much on lotto, how much is the Louisiana native actually worth?

Todd Graves

Co-Founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Net worth: $150 million

Todd Graves initially planned to call his restaurant chain “Sockeye’s,” but after some persuasion from a friend, he decided to name it after his yellow Labrador Retriever, “Raising Cane.”

Birthdate: February 20, 1972

Birthplace: Louisiana

Education: Graduated from Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge

University of Georgia

Spouse: Gwen Graves

Kids: 2

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What is Todd Graves’ net worth?

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers CEO Todd Graves
Source: Twitter (@ToddGraves)

Before Graves launched a successful chain of fast-food restaurants around the country, he was told his business plan wouldn’t work. Graves’ idea to start a food establishment that centered around fried chicken finger meals was shot down by his college professor and was also turned down by several bankers who simply couldn’t get on board with Graves’ vision.

After realizing he would need to build his fast-food restaurant from scratch and without any capital from lenders, Graves worked laborious jobs, including taking on the role of a boilermaker in an oil refinery. He also entered the trade of salmon fishing in Alaska. After returning to his home state of Louisiana, Graves began constructing a building that would eventually become the first Raising Cane’s restaurant.

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Graves’ restaurant grew from one establishment that opened in 1996, to 550 locations spread across 29 states in the U.S. and the Middle East. Today, Raising Cane’s is not only recognized as being one of the “fastest-growing fast food companies,” but it also claims its annual revenue exceeds $2 billion, according to the company’s website.

And if you’re wondering where the name, Raising Cane’s comes from, it actually honors Graves’ yellow Labrador, Raising Cane I (1992–1998). Given the success Graves has had with his restaurant chain, he has managed to grow his net worth to a reported $150 million.

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Todd Graves’ good rapport with his employees led to him being recognized as a top CEO in 2021.

In addition to building a successful restaurant chain with his business partner, Craig Silvey, Graves is also recognized for fostering a healthy work environment. In 2021, Graves was voted as a top CEO on Glassdoor and received an 81 percent approval rating based on the more than 3,000 reviews that were submitted.

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He’s also known for giving back to his community. In 2021, Graves and a few celebrity friends including Snoop Dogg and Rob Schneider, got together to help restaurants across the nation that had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graves decided to invest $100,000 in 10 independent restaurants and allowed the journey to be captured in the discovery+ series, Restaurant Recovery.

But Graves' generosity didn’t begin there. Over the last few years, Graves and Raising Cane’s provided $35 million in support to communities positioned near his restaurants and pledged to add another $13 million to that total, according to Discovery+.

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Todd Graves is also a family man.

The saying goes “behind every great man is a great woman,” and perhaps that stands true for Graves. While there is little known about Graves’ wife, Gwen Graves, we do know the couple have two children and reside in Baton Rouge, La. The pair has also been married for over 20 years now.


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