Ashton Kutcher Beats CNN In Twitter-Off

Actor hits 1 million followers 30 minutes before news network.

It appears those sneaky snapshots of [movieperson id="91412"]Demi Moore[/movieperson]'s underwear and instant updates on noisy neighbor beefs have paid off. After days of trash talk, [movieperson id="208080"]Ashton Kutcher[/movieperson] claimed victory in his Twitter-off with CNN early Friday morning (April 17), as the actor became the first person to hit the magic 1 million-followers mark on the micro-blogging site at 2:13 a.m.

Kutcher had challenged the news network to a virtual duel earlier in the week to see who could reach the million mark, and CNNBrk put up a valiant fight, crossing the finish line around 30 minutes after Kutcher, according to a report on the CNN Web site.

With a simple post — "Victory is ours!!!!!!!!" — Kutcher announced the end of the race on his Twitter site, which was followed by a video of a champagne-soaked celebration, hosted by a fedora-wearing Kutcher, Moore and a group of friends who had gathered to watch as the last few followers pushed him over the edge. CNN had gone live with the race as well, with Anderson Cooper urging viewers to help the network beat Kutcher.

What was at stake in the great Twitter dash? Kutcher promised to donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day (April 25) if he won the contest and 1,000 if he lost, with CNN pledging the same prize. Kutcher displayed a check for $100,000 to the Malaria No More Fund just moments before the blessed event.

"We are over a million. CNN is still trying to get there. And that is just how it goes," Kutcher said as he toasted the victory and screamed, while step-daughters Scout and Tallulah looked on in what appeared to be their jammies. "There are a million people that need to be thanked for this."

At one point, just before Kutcher reached his goal, fellow Twitter junkie Diddy called to congratulate him, saying, "You have done it, my brother. ... We are going to change the world. ... I'm so proud of you. Let's go!" as he urged people to help the actor, whom he called a pioneer.

When it did finally happen, Kutcher busted out a victory dance with Moore as Kool & the Gang's "Celebration" played in the background. According to CNN, it was the first time a Twitter account had passed 1 million followers, and Kutcher hailed it as a victory for the red-hot service that has become a sensation over the past year.

"Today we have done something extraordinarily special," Kutcher said, thanking CNN founder Ted Turner for being a media pioneer, while saying the media mogul deserves to be "ding-dong-ditched," just because.

"We have shown the world that the new wave is here, it is present and it is ready to explode. You guys are all of it. ... We can and will create our media. We can and will edit our media. We can and will broadcast our media. We will censor our own media ourselves," Kutcher added, encouraging his followers to broadcast their own ideas as well. Kutcher is slated to appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Friday night to discuss his victory.

According to CNET, game maker Electronic Arts upped the ante in the contest as well, offering Kutcher's 1 millionth follower a copy of every game they make in 2009 and a spot in a future game.

In an unrelated note, Britney Spears is also trying to reach the magic mark, encouraging her followers to push her over the edge so they can get updates on the singer, such as one she posted on Wednesday that informed them, "Playing Slip N' Slide with the boys. SOOO CUTE!!!!" At press time, Spears — who reportedly uses a ghostwriter — had more than 960,000 followers.

Oprah Winfrey is also jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, reportedly planning to post her first Tweet Friday afternoon during her show. Kutcher will be a guest on the episode.