Brian Larsen's 15 minutes of TV fame didn't exactly make him a household name. Nor did it result in a flood of traffic to his Elburn home decked out in more than 1 million Christmas lights.
But the man who won $50,000 from a reality show for his efforts did have a fan: the wife of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. She recognized Larsen, who was attending a game a few days after winning the prize on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight." Elizabeth Quenneville called her husband over -- along with forward Andrew Shaw -- and they all watched a video on Larsen's phone of his display at 42W891 Beith Road.
"That was really cool. That's probably my highlight," recalled Larsen, who was too embarrassed to ask for a photo. "I'm not used to somebody like that recognizing me."
Despite the lack of an expected uptick of visitors to his display, Larsen nonetheless says he is extending its run.
Thursday, Jan. 2, traditionally has been the final day. But now he's keeping it open through Sunday and expanded hours from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in part of the shortened holiday season due to the late Thanksgiving.
"It was crazy busy (Dec. 22-24)," Larsen said. "But then Christmas came and all the snow came, it deterred people from coming out. Nobody wants to come out in stormy weather. I encourage people to come out. If they don't, we'll do it again next year."
In the 35-minute show, lights, strobes and lasers are synchronized with music to dance and jump across his lawn and home. People can sit in their vehicles in a new parking lot on Larsen's lawn and listen to the show on a special FM frequency. For more information, visit larsenlightshow.com.
Larsen, his wife Angela, and their three kids edged out three other families to win the prize for the best-decorated house.
After the show, Larsen quipped that he would use the prize money to pay people to dismantle the lights, which normally take months to put up but had to be installed in just three weeks in October for the contest.
Larsen said Thursday that he has yet to receive anything from ABC officials.
"Once we get it, we'll sit down and talk," he said. "Ninety percent of it will go the kids' school funds."