By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

wiz kid with hostWhiz Kid, Naman Shah, with the show host Chris Harrison. Chris Harrison also hosts Bachelor and Bachelorette.

Peachtree Corners “whiz kid” brings home $20,000 from popular game show
By Carole Townsend 
Staff Correspondent

Who wants to be a millionaire? Duluth Middle School student Naman Shah does, that’s who.

The popular, long-running television show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Whiz Kids edition received more than 10,000 entries from children all over the country and not surprisingly, a young man from Gwinnett County won the honor of being named a participant. Of course, his selection was not based simply on a single application; there were numerous tests and auditions for young Naman to clear before getting a chance to participate on the “Millionaire” stage, and he cleared them all with grace and style.

The 13-year-old, 8th grade Naman has been an innovative and creative thinker since he was old enough to draw pictures. His dad recalls finding sketch books of all the inventions his son plans to design when he gets older. But all work and no play are no fun, as the saying goes. Naman is also known for being an expert prankster, and he delights in pranking his sister most of all.

wiz kid host and dadNaman Shah and his dad, Mehul Shah who was also his ‘Plus One’ which is one of the lifelines available to the contestant. They are both conversing with host Chris Harrison.

Mom Dipa and Dad Mehul are obviously – and with good reason – proud of their son. In fact, when Naman competed (the show aired Feb. 13, 2017), Dad served as his “plus-one lifeline.” The question? “Parathogenesis, the means by which some all-female species of whiptail lizards reproduce, loosely translates to what in Greek?” Of course, no story about Naman’s victory would be complete without the answer to the question: “virgin creation, or birth.”

wiz kid parentsMom Dipa and sister Vishwa were right there in the audience supporting their very own whiz kid. “It was indeed a very proud moment for us when Naman got invited and then selected… for the popular “Whiz Kids” version of the show,” said Mehul.

Pictured: Proud mom Dipa Shah and sister Vishwa Shah sitting in the audience, cheering Naman.

“I have always encouraged my son with all of his extracurricular activities since early childhood. We’ve always been proud (of his love of learning), and today, I can happily declare that he won $20,000!” Dipa said.

Now, before that $20,000 prize inspires parents everywhere to unplug the XBOX and drive their kids to the library, let’s take a look at some of the basic tools young Naman took to the table with him in his quest to become a contestant. For example, as a 7th grade student, he took both the older and the new version of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). He scored 1520 on the older version, and 1190 on the rSAT (the new version). He is a member of, or participates in : 

National Junior Honor Society 
Academic Bowl
K-Kids (Kiwanis Kids) 
Science Olympiad 
Accelerated Subject Classes(All) 
S.T.E.M Program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

whiz kidIn other words, Naman’s success didn’t happen overnight, or in a week, or even over the course of a year. His family loves and encourages learning, and so does he. Naman participates in many more extracurricular activities, loves math and science, and has a flair for the creative. He’s one of those fortunate kids who loves learning and who excels at it, all the while looking cool while he does it. According to his parents, Naman conversed with show host Chris Harrison (of Bachelor and Bachelorette fame) , and he never once broke a sweat. 

Now comes the tough question… what will Naman do with his hard-won cash? No doubt, a video game or two are in his future but not surprisingly, this outstanding young man plans to put most of the money aside for his education, while selflessly giving a gift to his favorite charity, as well.

Pictured: Excited contestant Naman Shah, prior to his recording.

To view the Feb. 13 episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Whiz Kids, as well as catch a glimpse of other ubersmart kids competing on the show, check out the show’s Facebook page!

(Published February 2017)