Oklahoma boy competes for $100,000 on show “Child Genius”

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VERDIGRIS, Okla. — An Oklahoma boy is competing against some of the brightest young minds in the country – and it’s all on national television.

Graham Curtsinger’s mom says they tested their son’s IQ when he was 5 because they could tell he was different. He tested in the 99.9 percentile. Now 11-years-old, Graham is just trying to blend in while attending 5th grade with his friends at Verdigris Elementary.

“What I’m flying right now is a CRJ-700,” Graham said as he showed off his love for airplanes, including his favorite, the Boeing 737. “One thing I’ve noticed is that most of their crashes weren’t because of mechanical failure.”

He is fascinated by how planes work, how they are designed, and the differences between each model. But this extremely intelligent boy will tell you straight up, he hates the word “genius.”

“I’m just a normal kid in my grade. I’m not any more special than anybody there.”

But as he appears on the show “Child Genius,” Graham is forced to wear the label. But his parents hope the show can lead them to finding how to give their son the education he deserves.

“We are hoping through this show that someone might honestly show us the way, or give us better advice on how to do that for him, because we are trying our best, but we don’t know how to do that,” Graham’s mother, Tracy Curtsinger said.

As Graham draws maps of cities from his imagination – another one of his hobbies – he is just happy to be in 5th grade where he can be one of the boys.

“I’m glad to be in my grade and at the public school because I’ve made a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends, I don’t want leave them. I don’t want to make new friends.”

With no plans of changing grades or schools any time soon, Graham can relax and just enjoy his planes.

The fifth episode of Child Genius (out of 8 episodes) airs Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

Graham is one of eight kids out of 20 left. If he wins, he will take home a $100,000 college fund.


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