Lolo Jones direct messaged the college student who received 150,000 retweets in an effort to get a date with the Olympic athlete, confirming that she would go on a date with him, the student said.
Bubby Lyles said in a telephone interview that Jones told him to email his contact information last night after her final scheduled track meet of 2013 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“I’m looking forward to meeting you, and I’m looking forward to our date,” Jones messaged, according to Lyles.
Lyles, a rising senior at Georgia State University, received 150,000 retweets in two weeks after Jones told him on Twitter that she would go on a date with him if he reached the magic number. He passed 150,000 just before Jones competed at a Diamond League meet in Lausanne on Thursday.
Jones first heard the news in a post-meet interview with Flotrack, when she said she would go on the date.
Lyles said he thought of the idea out of the blue.
“I couldn’t just tweet her and say ‘Let’s go out on a date,'” he said Friday afternoon. “She wouldn’t do that just on the fly. I thought, give her some incentive. What’s an outrageous number most people would think would be unreachable? I came up with 150,000, and it went from there.”
Lyles got a little help from his friends. A Georgia State football player reached out to Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray to retweet him. Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall and a few MLB players did as well.
“It started off slow, really slow, then it got to a point where 10,000 to 15,000 (retweets) a day,” said Lyles, who received media attention from TV stations in his home of Atlanta and Jones’ home of Baton Rouge, La., as he approached 150,000.
Lyles said he watched the Flotrack interview but wasn’t surprised when Jones said she would hold up her end of the bargain.
“I was happy to see the proof I guess, because I guess a lot of people put it out that she won’t go through with it,” he said. “That thought never crossed my mind.”
Lyles said his iPhone 5 crashed a few times with people texting him and Twitter notifications, though he said he turned off notifications on retweets.
The big question now is, where and when does the date take place?
“That’s kind of like up in the air, because she said she’d fly me up,” he said. “It could be here in Atlanta, or in Baton Rouge, which I expect it to be. Once we get a date and time I can really dig in and figure out (where to take her).”
Lyles received suggestions from his social media helpers and the media. The coolest destination he said was in Las Vegas. Many others mentioned McDonald’s or Golden Corral.
The other question — why did you pick Jones?
“I remember watching her in the Olympics last year,” he said. “She was a cute girl. I know that sounds so stupid, you probably watch TV and say she’s good looking and won’t think twice about it. … She seems like she has a really great personality. She has good morals, which I’m about, too. She seems like a really good person, which is what I’m looking for. She’s in shape. I work out six days a week myself. She says she eats a lot, I know about that because I’m always hungry. I train hard myself, not as hard as her, she’s an Olympian. It seems like we have little things in common. I figure why not go for it.”
Jones offered to pay for the date in Thursday’s interview, but Lyles insisted otherwise.
“I really want to pay for it because I feel that’s the gentlemanly thing to do,” he said. “I appreciate that offer. … I’d never let a woman pay for a date.”