An Orillia gamer is making a name for himself in the celebrity world.
Cody Burnett, or @Xposed as he’s known on Twitch, averages 7,000 to 11,000 viewers every time he goes live around 10:30 p.m. each night. He has nearly 4,000 subscribers on the live-streaming service and nearly half a million followers.
He recently signed a deal with stake.com, which gives him money to play with and, in return, he keeps a percentage of any kind of winnings he gets while playing casino games.
“It’s a pretty crazy thing to imagine,” Burnett says of his career. “Obviously, you always want to dream big, and I was always dreaming since I was about 10 years old."
The 25-year-old has been steaming on Twitch for seven years, playing casino games and Call of Duty. He never thought he would reach the success he’s having now, but it has quickly become a reality.
He quit his job at a call centre about five years ago, and "just never looked back since.”
After signing Burnett, stake.com formed a partnership with Grammy award-winning Canadian rapper Drake. Burnett was recently invited to help Drake set up his own stream.
“I would say Drake is top three all-time to me when it comes to music,” Burnett said. “Walking in to meet him for the first time was a little nerve racking.”
Once the star-struck element wore off, Burnett says hanging out with Drake — at his Toronto home — was no different from hanging out with a friend.
“He told me he is a fan of my videos and I kind of got him into this,” he said. “It was pretty cool to hear.”
Burnett, who is not usually much of a drinker, took his first-ever shot of whisky with the famous rapper, who is often seen courtside at Toronto Raptors games.
“His bartender offered me a shot and I declined the first one,” he said. “When we got toward the end, I was offered another shot and I took it. If I didn’t, I probably would have regretted not having that cool experience.”
While hanging out with Drake is a career highlight for Burnett, his most meaningful achievement came when he paid off the mortgage for his parents’ home as a Christmas gift.
“It meant the world to me,” he said. “Every kid dreams of being able to help out their parents in a crazy way like that.”
While growing up, Burnett says his family was always stressed about paying bills and they worked hard to stay afloat.
“To be able to help them, after they raised me and paid for everything in my lifetime ... it’s nice to be able to return that favour,” he said. “It was just special.”
Burnett hopes to capitalize on more opportunities that may arise.
“I’m going to stay motivated,” he said. “I want to keep doing great things and keep going up.”
He says people didn’t always believe in him during his life journey, but he encourages everyone, especially local youth, to continue pursuing their passions like he did.