Mat Franco is an American magician and the winner of the ninth season of America’s Got Talent. Franco rose above tens of thousands of acts to become the first and only magician in history to win AGT, including the $1 million prize.
In 2003, at age 15, Franco was invited to perform onstage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as part of a show hosted by the Society of American Magicians called “Stars of Tomorrow”.
After graduating from college in 2010, Franco performed his one-man show on college campuses throughout the U.S., touring six months out of the year, for four years. He was nominated for “Fastest Rising Star” in 2012, and in 2013 was awarded “Best College Performer” by Campus Activities Magazine (based in Prosperity, South Carolina) in their Reader’s Choice Awards.
Franco was always encouraged by his grandmother, Eleanor Campellone, who told an interviewer, “His mother was always working and he couldn’t show her everything — look mom, look mom. So the grandma was there and I had all the time in the world. I’d spend hours watching his tricks.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote of Franco’s stint on America’s Got Talent: “Franco did a crafty job of customizing his prediction-based, sleight-of-hand magic to make maximum use of Talent judges Howard Stern and Mel B. And he displayed a personality and sense of humor that other magicians were not able to convey in their limited camera time.”
It’s been said that Franco “specializes in creating customized, interactive presentations for his audiences that allow for spontaneity and improvisation. For Mat, magic isn’t about ‘tricking’ or ‘fooling’ the audience; it’s about connecting with people and bringing smiles to their faces.”