A 17-year-old high school junior from a tiny town in the Texas Panhandle hit the jackpot Friday at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo when his steer named Mufasa was named grand champion.
"King of the jungle, yes sir," Ben Bezner said.
The animal sold for $200,000 at an auction Saturday morning.
The steer, a European crossbreed, was chosen out of about 1,500 competing for the honor.
"I'm just speechless, I just can't even — it's awesome," Bezner said. "It's something I always dreamed of doing and it came true. It's awesome."
Bezner, who lives on a ranch in Texline, said he named his animal "Mufasa" because of his demeanor and curiosity.
He says winning is more than just an honor. It means the high school junior just hit the jackpot.
"I think that is a very nice rack of beef," said Doug Cassidy, a Fort Worth banker and member of the syndicate that represents bidders. "That steer is going to sell for over $200,000 tomorrow, and we're excited. It could be a record."
Last year's winning steer, Rocco, tied the record, selling for $240,000.
"It was an easy decision," said Doug Husfeld, who judged the contest and crowned Mufasa the winner. "He's very sound in his structure, he's very long and he's very attractive to look at. He's got a lot of muscularity, but he's just a phenomenal steer."
Through this auction, the Stock Show syndicate has raised a total of $52 million for young exhibitors.
The latest news from around North Texas.
So now, what will this teenage cowboy do with all the money?
"College is expensive, so hopefully it'll get me through college," Bezner said. "And after that just kind of save it, keep it in the bank."
After college, Bezner said he plans to return to his family's ranch and raise cows.