Today In WTF: Kid Who Made An Incredible Hockey Shot Won’t Get His $50,000
Today marks the second day in a row we write something around here about an established set of rules playing havoc with potentially feel-good stories. Whether this happened rightly or wrongly is up for debate, but it's indisputable that the results left many people cold. Yesterday, a couple high school football players honored a deceased friend, and came away with an excessive celebration penalty. And today, we read that an 11-year-old who hit an incredible hockey shot for $50,000 won't receive that money after all.
Last we visited this story, whether or not Nate Smith and his family would receive the prize was up in the air. Here's the shot that started it all, and the accompanying story:
The reason: the person who was supposed to take the shot was Nate's identical twin brother, Nick. The day after Nate hit the shot, the family owned up to what happened, and though it was the right thing to do, it risked disqualification. And as it turned out, that's exactly what happened:
The company that insured the event, Odds On Promotions of Reno, Nev., said Wednesday that due to "contractual breaches and legal implications" it was unable to pay the claim.
It's not a total loss, though...
Instead, the company said it would donate $20,000 to youth hockey in Minnesota in the boys' names.
Good on 'em for at least doing something, though depriving the family of the $50K - part of which, we remind you, the Smith family said would go to the boys' college educations, and the balance to the boys' school - still gives off an undeniable "heartless insurance company" vibe. And this release from Odds On Promotions - even though the intentions are good - probably won't help.
"We greatly respect the eventual honesty of the Smith family. Although we're unable to pay the claim on Nate's incredible shot, we are confident our donation will foster a positive environment for present and future youth hockey in Minnesota."
It's tough to read that and not think, "Yeah, you respected their honesty so much that you didn't give them the money." But they probably did respect their honesty. And the twins' father, Pat, said the boys "understand," so hey, what's the point in getting too mad? The company did make the donation. But, damn: the kid made a near-impossible shot, and the impression here is that inflexible rules and bureaucracies ruined it for everybody. We don't doubt the people involved were doing what they had to (and not necessarily wanted to) do, but...man. Safe to say we have no desire to work in the insurance business.
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