Pop sensation Justin Timberlake wowed everyone at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis this year with his energetic halftime performance, but it seems that a 13-year-old boy in the crowd managed to steal some of his thunder.
Seventh-grader Ryan McKenna was dubbed “selfie kid” after he snapped a keepsake photo when the singer wandered into the crowd towards the end of his performance.
Images of the teen looking down at his phone quickly went viral online, unexpectedly catapulting the teen to internet fame, as the BBC reports.
The sudden attention came as a shock to the teenager and his family.
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Ryan’s father, John McKenna, told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press that his family received a wave of calls and texts as soon as their son showed up on-screen with the pop star.
He was shocked by the amount of attention his young son received, he said:
“My phone started blowing up. It died, like, instantly after it happened. We had friends from all over reaching out. I couldn’t believe it.”
The McKenna family is from Massachusetts and flew in especially for the game, but Ryan never expected anything like this to happen. He told the Pioneer Press:
“It was already crazy to be at the Super Bowl in the first place. Then all of a sudden I’m up on the jumbotron and everyone is talking about me. I can’t believe it.”
Ryan said his phone was also flooded with notifications following his halftime appearance. And now, he’s even building a following on social media.
The teen now has over 65,000 followers on his Instagram page, despite only posting two photos — which are selfies with Timberlake, of course.
He’s also slotted to make appearances on national talk shows, like “Good Morning America” on Monday, before heading back to school at Derby Academy in Hingham later this week.
Despite the overwhelming attention, Ryan was excited about the opportunity to take a selfie with the pop star. As his dad told the Pioneer Press, he didn’t think this would happen in a “million years.”