Todd Hoffman: Where is John Leonard’s Friend Now?

In 1995, Pepsi created an innovative ad campaign that had people collect points to redeem merchandise. But one curious detail caught the eye of a then 21-year-old John Leonard: if he collected enough points, he could get a Harrier fighter jet. Netflix’s four-part docuseriesPepsi, Where’s My Jet?’ thus delves into how he tried to make this a reality, along with the attention and legal woes that came with it. Todd Hoffman, a close friend of John’s, was convinced by his bizarrely plausible idea as well and agreed to help out financially. So now, if you’re wondering where the latter might be today, here’s what we know.

Who is Todd Hoffman?

Todd was described by his mother as being an active boy since he was a child. Growing up, he wanted to see everything and soon decided to travel the world. One of his most significant interests was mountain climbing, and during the early 1990s, he chose to take on Mt. Denali in Alaska. It was here that the recently recovered wanderer (he’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1992) met John, a junior climbing guide. The two subsequently became good friends despite their 2-decade age gap and grew even closer by their mutual desire to scale the highest mountains on every continent.

Todd was a successful businessman who had been involved with multiple endeavors at the time. Therefore, John often pitched his budding business ideas to him, and he gave honest advice. Yet, as per the show, when the latter spoke up about collecting 7 million points to acquire the Harrier jet, Todd was completely surprised. He still asked the student to make a business plan, though, and later rightly pointed out the pitfalls of the idea and its execution. After all, John believed they would need to spend around $4.3 million to garner the necessary points.

However, the youngster soon learned he could buy Pepsi points outright for ten cents each, meaning it would take him $700,000 to acquire the necessary points for the jet, which in itself was worth around $33 million. Todd also grew convinced it would work, so he had John fly down to Young America, Minnesota, with a paralegal to make sure Pepsi received the check. But things didn’t go as planned because the company claimed the Harrier jet part was an obvious joke. John and Todd responded there was no disclaimer in the ad, so it was not obvious.

Therefore, Pepsi initiated legal action against John in the hopes the court would declare his claim to be frivolous. As per the show, there were settlement talks between the youngster and the company, but the former was adamant about wanting the jet, and Todd made it clear the decision was entirely up to him. In the end, these settlement talks stalled, and Pepsi changed their ad to say the number of points needed to get the jet was 700 million (with “just kidding” in parentheses). So obviously, when Todd saw this, he felt as if Pepsi was admitting guilt.

Todd Hoffman Continues to be Passionate About Mountains and Adventure

Unfortunately, every effort was for naught because the summary judgment was in favor of Pepsi, with the judge stating that an objective person would have easily concluded the offer of the Harriet jet was a joke. In the four-part docuseries, Todd remarked that the group the ad was targeted at felt it was entirely credible, and ultimately, the ruling was a corporate decision from a corporate judge. Despite everything, though, Todd and John have remained friends and recently even undertook an expedition to Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.

We should mention that Todd has seemingly invested in several businesses over the years. On the show, he talked about growing up around automobiles and later going into publishing, restaurants, and real estate, tasting success in every avenue. In 1992, Todd was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was successfully removed. As per the show, he faced further health issues when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer sometime in 2021, yet he chose to go and explore Mount Vinson against his doctors’ wishes anyway.

Todd has since had cancer removed, is in remission, and continues to live a life of adventure. He has preferred to maintain a low profile and refused to reveal where he lived. However, from what we can tell, Todd has kept his address in Florida since his mother lives there. He loves the mountains and is always on the lookout for the next big endeavor. Regarding Todd and John’s friendship, the docuseries’ director, Andrew Renzi, said, “As soon as I met those two, I was like, ‘Everybody needs a Todd in their life.'”

Read More: Where is John Leonard’s Mom Linda Leonard Now?