12-year-old girl sells steer for $100,000
A 12-year-old girl needs a bigger piggy bank.
Shaelye Varner showed the grand champion steer at the Illinois State Fair, then sold it at auction for a whopping $100,000. That shattered last year's fair record of $62,000.
Large companies like AT&T, Monsanto and DeKalb Asgrow combined to bid for Varner's steer.
Fair officials say $100,000 would have bought almost every animal in the sale of champions just four years ago.
This year, the auction netted more than $260,000 for the kids who raised the animals, as well as the 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs. Each receives 10 percent of the proceeds.
Shaelye says she's been showing since she was 5 years old. She plans to save her money and use it for a future career in livestock.
According to The State Journal-Register newspaper of Springfield, Shaelye wore a huge smile Tuesday evening.
WGN radio personality and 53-year Illinois State Fair fixture Orion Samuelson even halted the auction when potential buyers ran up bids of $94,000 for Varners champion steer. He wanted to ask her how she felt.
Samuelson also urged the crowd not to applaud. That's because Varners 1,330-pound steer, named Ted, gets skittish in large crowds.
Varner said that even though she knew her steer was good, she was surprised it was a Grand Champion worth $100,000.
I havent won this big of a show before, she said.
Critical thinking challenge: Why was the crowd asked to be quiet?