A man’s quest for free chicken nuggets has been knocked off the top spot as the most-retweeted tweet of all time.

The record now belongs to Yusaku Maezawa, who has pledged to give away 100m yen (£725,000) to his followers.

Mr Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire and the founder of Zozotown, the country’s largest retailer.

His social media success means Carter Wilkerson, who was retweeted 3.5 million times during his campaign to get free nugs for a year from Wendy’s, has slipped into second place.

Mr Maezawa’s generous offer to give 100 randomly selected followers £7,250 each came after his company made 10bn yen (£73m) in record time during a spring sale.

All people had to do to be in with a chance to win was to follow the entrepreneur and retweet his message.

At the time of publication, more than 4.4 million people had done just that, with Mr Maezawa comparing the scenes on his Twitter feed to a "festival".

However, the 43-year-old warned his followers that many fake accounts had been created in an attempt to dupe Twitter users – prompting him to stress that the giveaway was only being held on his verified account.

Mr Maezawa’s first business in 1995 sold imported albums by mail, but it is Zozotown which has helped him become the 14th richest man in Japan. He is thought to have a net worth of £2.8bn.

He looks set to become one of the first people to visit space as a tourist on board Elon Musk’s SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket, which is scheduled for take-off in 2023.

Before Mr Maezawa could claim the most retweeted message, the prize belonged to Mr Wilkerson, who asked US chain restaurant Wendy’s how many retweets he needed to get free chicken nuggets for a year.

The company initially said 18 million, but when he became the most retweeted at 3.5 million, the company fulfilled his dream of free nuggets for a year anyway.

(c) Sky News 2019: Billionaire overtakes chicken nugget boy for most-retweeted tweet