Olathe & Southwest Joco

Olathe’s Vanya Shivashankar wins Lifetime’s ‘Child Genius’ title

After being named the winner of the Lifetime television show “Child Genius,” Vanya Shivashankar, 13, (center) celebrated with two of her friends, Sarah Peek (left) and Reagan Holmes, Tuesday, February 24, 2014 during a watch party for the final episode of the show at Granite City Food & Brewery in Olathe. Shivashankar, won $100,000 for college. All three girls are students at California Trail Middle School in Olathe.
After being named the winner of the Lifetime television show “Child Genius,” Vanya Shivashankar, 13, (center) celebrated with two of her friends, Sarah Peek (left) and Reagan Holmes, Tuesday, February 24, 2014 during a watch party for the final episode of the show at Granite City Food & Brewery in Olathe. Shivashankar, won $100,000 for college. All three girls are students at California Trail Middle School in Olathe. Special to the Star

In a private room full of people at Granite City Food & Brewery in Olathe, a giant screen played the finale of Lifetime’s intelligence competition “Child Genius.”

Friends, family and current and former teachers snacked on appetizers as they watched the final episode of the series, which featured 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe.

One of only four left in the competition, Vanya beat out her competitors for a $100,000 college fund and the title of “Child Genius 2014.”

The show, which filmed in June and July, featured 20 gifted teens across the nation as they prepared for the competition.

Because filming wrapped last year, Vanya had to keep a tight lid on the outcome of the show.

“After keeping it a secret for so long, it finally feels so real,” Vanya said. “It was so sweet of everyone to come out and support me, it means so much.”

The California Trail Middle School student also made headlines this year for her fourth consecutive victory at the Olathe Spelling Bee, and is headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.

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