He’s the face that launched a million memes. But all cute toddlers must grow up and so too for Sammy Griner. The chubby-cheeked toddler recently turned 10 – I know, we can’t believe it either – and what he looks like now is getting almost as much attention.
The original photograph, of Sammy’s closed mouth and clenched fist, is actually a snap of the toddler trying to eat sand at the beach back in 2007.
Social media can’t get enough of Sammy – a new photo of “success kid” with his mum was uploaded to picture sharing website Imgur yesterday and has already been viewed more than 3 million times.
For all the online fame, Sammy’s mum Laney says her internet-famous son doesn’t get the star treatment at home.
“I know Success Kid is a popular meme, but around here he’s just our… son, Sam,” she says.
“It’s amazing seeing what broad, worldwide appeal his image has, even so many years later.
“He’s been this meme for as long as he can remember. But he gets embarrassed by it plenty, too.”
The original pic brought about its own success, helping to raise US$100,000 for a kidney transplant for Sammy’s dad. When Justin Griner experienced full kidney failure in 2009 and was forced to go on dialysis, the image helped draw people to their crowd funding page to find a donor and raise some money for the family’s medical expenses.
The Florida family is pleased to report Justin’s operation last year was a success and Laney left a message to donors about how grateful she is.
“You’ve given life back to my husband, and a hope for a future for Sam and I. Thanking you for the rest of my life wouldn’t be enough,” she writes.