Sebastian Lennox, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Great Neck South Middle School, is $15,000 richer after his team was runner-up on NBC-TV’s “Genius Junior.”
Each runner up also wins a trip to either Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, or Washington D.C. – and Sebastian says he’ll likely choose Orlando because it will be more fun for his younger siblings.
“Going to the finals on a national TV show is in and of itself very exciting,” Sebastian says. “It was nerve-racking. All the cameras, all the people, all the people who would be watching. Being there on a stage of that magnitude was crazy.”
The semi-final and final episodes of the series hosted by Neil Patrick Harris aired back-to-back on May 13. During the series, 12 teams of three children ages 8 to 12 had competed in a series of increasingly complex quizzes with the goal of being crowned Genius Junior. Sebastian’s team was named “The Fast and the Curious.” A 12-year-old from Merrick, Norah Petrozak, also played for a previously eliminated team called “Cheese Cabinet.”
Sebastian loves architecture, plays viola and likes to watch soccer. He says the hardest part of being on the show wasn’t the actual tests; it was racing against the clock. His friends, he says, have taken his 15 minutes of fame in stride. “The teachers were very excited,” Sebastian says, “more so than my friends.”