“The tricks don’t really matter, you just got to be able to connect with people, “  Mat Franco, winner of “America’s Got Talent” season nine and University of Rhode Island 2010 alum, told The Daily Buzz. “That’s what magic’s about. Magic makes us laugh and have a good time; it gives us shortcuts to those moments in life.”

Franco himself, however, is not one who was able to take any shortcuts to get to this point of his life.

Inspired to perform magic at 4-years-old, Mat Franco worked on his craft for over 20 years before becoming the million dollar winner of the hit TV show.

Despite going to college, Franco’s plan was always to be a magician. During a URI live stream, Franco said that the reason he studied business and marketing at URI is because in high school he realized that being a magician also meant running a business. Franco said, “I thought, ‘Well, I better learn that half of things.’ because it really is the other half; 50 percent. I mean, if you don’t have a way to advertise your show, well then, you don’t have a show.”

After college Matt went on tour completing over 200 shows in 2012. In 2013, Franco was named Campus Activities Magazine’s Best Male Performer.

After growing a respectively large fan base, especially through the college crowd, he went on to audition for :America’s Got Talent”. There he was able to dominate competition thanks to his card tricks, his sleight of hand and maybe most of all, his witty nature and charismatic stage presence. He continues to show his mastering of tricks and mastering of entertainment by constantly sharing videos and posts on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Franco became the first act to beat out a singer in the season finale of “America’s Got Talent”. He was also the first ever magician to win the competition. Franco himself said, “I never thought I would see the day a magician would walk away with this thing.”

Since winning the show, Franco says that pretty much everything about his life has changed. “It just got completely flipped upside down,” he said. “I get to work on all new magic. Except now, I have these outlets to share it with people.”

Franco has expressed a sense of caring for the poor stigma that is put around magic and magicians and he sees himself as a sign or opportunity for change. Franco told ellussionist.com, “This is huge for magicians. This is something we all should be feeding from. We should all be getting work from right now.”

From winning the show, Franco won, not only the million dollars, but the opportunity to headline his own show in Las Vegas, which he did in late September of last year.

Franco has gotten back to touring and has performed at both URI and, more recently, Providence College.

The next opportunity for people in the New England area to see Franco perform will be March 13 in the Fox Theatre at Foxwoods Resort.