HE came from humble beginnings, but Dustin Tavella is set to become a millionaire and a global superstar after winning America’s Got Talent.
The magician, 35, takes home a $1million prize and will have the opportunity to headline a residency at Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this fall.
Virginia Beach native Dustin aims to inspire audiences by using magic to connect with people from all different walks of life.
And he did just that in the season 16 finale of AGT on Monday, blowing away the judges with his spellbinding magic tricks.
Dustin wealth will get an immediate boost thanks to the $1million prize – although he won’t get his fortune all at once.
A disclaimer runs at the end of every episode reading: “The prize, which totals $1,000,000, is payable in a financial annuity over forty years, or the contestant may choose to receive the present cash value of such annuity.”
He can either opt to be paid $25,000 a year for 40 years of a lump sum of around $430,000 (based on a fixed rate of 5 per cent) – all before taxes.
On top of that, he will enjoy a huge boost in publicity and the chance to wow new audiences with his Las Vegas residency.
His appearances at the entertainment capital of the world – set to kick off later this year – will no doubt help him enjoy a long-lasting career.
Several previous winners have used their initials winnings to forge a multi-million dollar career.
Ventriloquist Terry Fator, who won season two, has a reported net worth of $140million after scoring a $100million Las Vegas residency at the Mirage from 2008 until 2021.
He was also named one of the highest-earning comedians of 2017 after raking in $18.5million that year.
Fellow season two contestants, dance crew Jabbawockeez have also hit the big time.
Despite not winning the show, they went on to secure a residency at MGM Grand and are believed to have a net worth of $25million.
Dustin – who lives in Virginia with his wife Kari and his adopted sons Xander and Sylas – seriously impressed the judges in the finale.
He received a standing ovation after performing a card trick that incorporated Kari and their sons.
Simon Cowell said: “You are a good story teller,” while Howie Mandel added: “I think you just gave yourself a shot on winning this game.”
He broke down in tears after being crowned the winner, with aerialist Aidan Bryant as the runner-up and comedian Josh Blue in third place.
The comedian had a turbulent childhood, having been raised in a dysfunctional home.
During an interview with Youtube personality Ruslan, he explained that a local Christian couple invested in him and helped his family recover.
He added that he struggled for years with ADHD in school and found that magic was a way for him to cope with the condition.
Due to his upbringing, Dustin and his wife Kari have made sure to work with their local homeless ministries and crisis pregnancy ministries.
After winning AGT, he admitted he’d dreamed about this kind of good fortune since he was a little boy.
“I just picture myself as this nine-year-old boy falling in love with magic and dreaming about stuff like this – and now I’m here,” he told Extra TV.
He added that he told Kari three years ago that he was going to win AGT and that she wrote it on her phone.
He joked: “Now I have to figure out the best way to tell my wife, ‘Hey, you were right.’”