Monday, August 15, 2011

11-year-old makes amazing hockey shot...or did he?

It's being called the "shot heard 'round Faribault."

"The place went crazy," says Vance Vinar. "No one could believe it."

Between periods of a charity hockey game Thursday at Shattuck St. Mary's, fans could buy a ten dollar raffle ticket for the chance to win $50,000.

The catch? Make an improbable shot. Shoot a puck from center ice into a 3 and a half inch hole in the goal. An 89 foot shot!

"A hockey puck is three inches wide and an inch high," says Vinar, the organizer of the charity game. "The odds are like making a hole-in-one."

11-year old Nick Smith from Owatonna was the lucky name drawn and the shot was made. One fan described the crowd as "louder than a Stanley Cup game."

The amazing shot isn't the entire story.

"I was outside when my name was called," says Nick Smith. "So Nate took the shot in my place."

No one suspected anything. Nate and Nick are twin brothers.

"I walked back in and my friend told me my brother made the shot," says Nick. "I was shocked."

Both brothers have played hockey since they were 3 years old, but both admit the shot was pretty lucky.

"I just lined up and yeah...made it," says Nate. "I was pretty stunned."

Nate and Nick's dad came forward Friday and told event organizers that it was the other brother that made the shot. He told KARE-11 simply, "that's the right thing to do."

That Nate-for-Nick swap may mean they forfeit the cash prize, but either way the amazing sports memory has been made. Legally it has to be the person whose name is on the ticket,” said general manager April Clark from Odds on Promotion, the tournament insurance carrier. “We really are very careful about explaining that it has to be the person.”

"If we get the money, we'll save it for college," laughs Nate. "It was pretty cool."

I've had years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and I can assure you they will not pay the $50,000. It's that they are bad people but it is a business and they pay out based on the rules of the game. The tournament pays premiums based on the risks calculated by underwriters. The ticketsin turn are priced based on the insurance premium paid to allow the tournament organizers to make a profit. The rules say no substitution because that would allow a participant to bring in a ringer (eg. his cousin happens to be Sidney Crosby). Allowing a substitute could substantially alter the risks of a winner and would require a higher premium. Which is a complicated way of saying nice shot Nate but no cheque for you.


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