MINNEAPOLIS, MN — When 13-year-old Ryan McKenna walked into the U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon, he never dreamed he'd be on the news.
McKenna and his family had been looking forward to watching the Patriots face off against the Eagles at the 52nd Super Bowl, but were definitely surprised to see Justin Timberlake walk up to them during his Super Bowl halftime show.
Halfway through his performance of "Can't Stop The Feeling", the last song on Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime show set list, he walked up to the audience and picked lucky McKenna for a chance to snap a fan selfie.
With a swift swipe of a screen, McKenna immediately switched his phone screen from the video he was recording into selfie mode.
The Scituate teen has been dubbed "selfie kid" by the Internet, and memes featuring McKenna have taken over social media by storm.
One points out Ryan's resemblance to a younger Justin Timberlake, while another shows Ryan Googling "who is Justin Timberlake".
"I just thought to myself, 'I'll never get this opportunity again in my whole life,'" McKenna told the Pioneer Press.
It was that reaction that turned McKenna into an instant sensation.
"My phone started blowing up," father John McKenna told the Pioneer Press. "It died, like, instantly after it happened. We had friends from all over reaching out, I couldn't believe it."
McKenna, a seventh-grader at Derby Academy in Hingham, Massachusetts, posted the selfie to his social media accounts and has already gone viral.
Ryan says he gained 35,000 instagram followers in just hours after he shared the pics.
He says he's a big Justin Timberlake fan, and the reason why he stopped to look down at his phone is because it locked on him and he had to re-open his camera.
The McKenna family flew into Minneapolis around noon on Sunday and had plans to fly out first thing on Monday morning, but those plans changed the moment Ryan became an Internet sensation.
The middle schooler was booked to do a hit on Good Morning America before the game was even over.
“It’s been so crazy,” McKenna said. “I don’t even know what to think. All my friends have been texting me and stuff. It’s insane. I’ve gotten so many notifications, I’ve got like 36 Snapchats, like 21 DMs, and like 150 follower requests on Instagram."
Cox Media Group