'Lucas is the perfect fit': Georgia toddler is first to win Gerber baby contest with Down syndrome
Dawning a greenish-blue button down and a polka-dot bow tie, 1-year-old Lucas Warren of Georgia lets out a smile for the camera that could light up the world.
It would be that infectious smile that would catch the eye of Bill Partyka, CEO of Gerber, the baby food giant.
After combing through more than 140,000 baby photos that were entered into Gerber's annual spokesbaby contest, Partyka said Lucas, who has Down syndrome, was "the perfect fit."
No one would be more shocked by Gerber's decision than Lucas' parents, who say they entered the Gerber baby photo contest "on a whim."
"He's always been such a good baby," said Cortney Warren, Lucas' mother. "I've never met anyone who's come into contact with Lucas and not smiled."
On Wednesday morning, Feb. 7, Lucas, surrounded by family, showed off his charismatic smile on NBC's "Today's Show." In the appearance, the Warrens said that they hope Gerber's decision will be able to shed light on the special needs community.
"They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else," said Cortney Warren.
The big prize for the Warren family also comes with $50,000, which the family says they will put towards Lucas's education. Lucas will also be featured on Gerber's social media pages.
"Every year we choose a baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby," said Partyka. "This year, Lucas is the perfect fit."