Kevin Sweeney is eleven years old, a big fan of the British version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and autistic. His home is the small Scottish town of Lochgelly, which has just over 7,000 souls.
When Kevin made his way to the capital Edinburgh on July 16 to take an IQ test, no one suspected that the eleven-year-old, with a value of 162, would score better than the world-famous physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein would lie down. But one after anonther.
As Kevin’s father Eddie Sweeney reported to the British news magazine “The Daily Mail”, the young Scot was enthusiastic about British quiz shows such as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, “The Chase” and “Only Connect” at an early age.
Even before he started school, the eleven-year-old could read, according to his proud father. Kevin is said to have memorized the periodic table of the elements by the age of six. If you asked him for an ordinal number, Kevin could immediately name the element without error, “the symbol and how much the element weighed,” says the 40-year-old sports teacher.
The fact that Kevin has a special gift for answering tricky questions has already been proven by the boy on many television evenings. Eddie Sweeney told the Daily Mail that while watching a quiz show, Kevin insisted that an answer declared correct was wrong: “When asked about the cost of a bus ride in Harry Potter, he insisted that the answer was wrong was. He went upstairs, found the right page in the right book in seconds, and proved he was right – a different price had been quoted in the film version.”
When Kevin finally wanted to take an official IQ test, his parents initially feared that the situation could overwhelm the boy. However, the young quiz fan talked to all the adult fellow candidates and just said, “Hello, I’m Kevin,” according to his parents.
The family already knew that Kevin was extremely smart. “We’ve always told people he’s a genius, and I don’t use that word lightly,” Eddie Sweeney said. But when the official test result was announced, the family was surprised.
Kevin achieved an IQ score of 162, overtaking legendary physicists like Stephen Hawking (160) and Albert Einstein, who never took the official test but is also rated at 160.
With the outstanding test result, Kevin is not only one of the best and smartest one percent of all people: Shortly after the results were announced, the organization “Mensa” knocked on the door to accept Kevin as a member. The Society for the Gifted was founded in England in 1946 and now has around 145,000 members worldwide.
Kevin’s parents just hope that the high test results will open a few doors for the 11-year-old in the future: “We hope this will be a big boost for him. Life presents Kevin with some challenges and we really want to help maximize his potential and give him every chance in life,” said Eddie Sweeney.