Shin Lim always wanted “the world to see a different side of magic, to take magic seriously & respect the art,” which he finally saw on Sept. 19. The 26 years old magician, who won the heart of America with his proximate card tricks, was announced as the winner of America’s Got Talent season 13. He scored headliner status at the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas along with the grand prize money of $1 million. Here are facts that you probably didn’t know about the illusionist.

1.Simon Cowell Helped Him to Win AGT!

He already had a huge fan base with his mind-bending acts, but Simon Cowell’s advice helped him win the coveted competition. He told USA TODAY moments after his victory on Wednesday, “After the quarterfinals, he told me I needed to get away from the (card) table, to move away from being small and get bigger. That kind of stayed in my brain. And I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got to try something bigger if I’m going to do well on this show.” 

2. Fooled Penn & Teller Twice!

Prior his run in AGT, he was already popular after his appearance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us in 2015 & 2017. His video from the show performing sleight-of-hand magic acts has garnered more than 52m views on YouTube. 

3. Was Supposed to be a Musician

Growing up, he developed an interest in music and started playing the violin, but later switched over to a piano. Originally educated to be a pianist, he took up magic as his career after he got diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome at 19

4.  Career as a Magician and Accomplishments

Shin was first introduced to card deck magic when his older brother, Yi, showed him a slip force magic trick on YouTube. He started practicing magic 8 hours a day in 2008 and started actively participating in magic competitions in 2011. The self-proclaimed “sleight of hand artist” has more than 432k subscribers in his self-titled YouTube channel (launched in 2011). He has won several awards including North American FISM and IBM People’s Choice Award for Best Close-Up Magician.

5. Who is His Girlfriend?

He started dating Casey Thomas in 2016, and proposed to her on August 20, 2017, during a magic show in Macau. Originally from Australia, Casey is a dancer by profession. She often updates about her performances on her Instagram account. 

Congratulations Shin!