Former Lee University student wins ‘America’s Got Talent’

Former Lee University student and close-up magician Shin Lim has won Season 13 of “America’s Got Talent” and $1 million. As part of his victory, he will also get to headline a show in Las Vegas.

“To have all of America watch me and appreciate what I do, it means the world to me,” Lim said Wednesday.

Lim, who currently lives near Boston, began his performance Tuesday by playing piano, a change from previous acts. He then revealed to the audience that he had been a concert pianist before being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. He turned to magic when it became too difficult to play.

But Lim wasn’t the only local face in the final five. Red Bank High School graduate Michael Ketterer, 40, became a fan favorite throughout the season with his voice and personal story. The pediatric mental health nurse who now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Ivey, and six children, talked about life with five adopted children and what the show meant to him.

“My family is my reason I’m here: my wife and my six children,” he said during a golden buzzer performance in June. “One of the things that happens, especially because my children came out of foster care, when you’re surviving you can’t dream. And that has been one of the most rewarding things is providing them with a home and safe environment where they are free to dream. And so I’m here because I want to show them that if their dad can live out his dreams, then nothing is impossible for them.”

He earned a golden buzzer from Cowell, who sent a shoutout to country music star Garth Brooks, asking him to write a song for the contestant.

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