Meet Riley: The 2017 Gerber Baby!
"He's not going to want to talk to us anymore," Riley's dad Devin Shines jokes to PEOPLE
New year, a new Gerber Baby to fawn over.
After an exhaustive photo search that garnered 110,000 entries, Gerber found their 2017 Spokesbaby in 7-month-old Riley, who was chosen for his “expressions and visual appeal, as well as how well he’d represent the brand.”
In other words, Riley is not only adorable and relaxed, but he also has a penchant for appearing very dapper in photo shoots — and loving every minute of it.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, parents Kristen and Devin Shines made the spontaneous decision to enter their baby in the search a few months back, but had no real expectations of ever winning.
“It was a big surprise when we won,” Kristen tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We haven’t told our family and friends yet. I’m bursting! It’s a harder secret to keep than when I was pregnant.”
Aside from scoring the coveted “Gerber Baby” title, Riley and his parents were also awarded a $50,000 cash prize, $1,500 in Gerber Childrenswear and the chance for the pint-sized cutie to appear in a 2017 Gerber ad. In addition, Riley’s year will also be documented on Gerber’s social media platforms.
As for how the newfound fame will impact Riley? The winner’s dad can’t help but be a little worried, while Riley’s mom offers a more realistic outcome.
“He’s not going to want to talk to us anymore,” Devin joked, before Kristen added: “He’s flirty to begin with, so I think he’s excited to have more ladies to flirt with.”