Minn. family waits to hear if shot is worth $50K

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — Eleven-year-old Nate Smith made an incredible shot — putting a puck through a tiny hole 89 feet away. But he and his family may have to wait a few weeks to hear whether he’ll collect a $50,000 prize or be whistled for a rules violation instead.

That’s because his identical twin brother Nick was supposed to take the shot Thursday during a charity hockey game at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in the southern Minnesota city of Faribault. Nick’s name was on the ticket drawn for the chance to fire the puck from center ice at a board in front of the goal with a hole barely larger than the puck.

“But I was outside so Nathan took the shot,” Nick said.

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The puck fluttered but went straight down the rink.

“I just lined up and, yeah, made it,” Nate said. “I was pretty stunned.”

“Everybody was high-fiving each other and the crowd was just going crazy,” said their father, Pat Smith.

Several NHL players present were pretty impressed, too.

“I probably couldn’t have done it,” New York Islander Kyle Okposo said.

But Pat Smith decided honesty was the best policy. He told organizers the next day that Nate, not Nick, made the shot.

“We wanted to set a good example for the kids,” he said.

The promotions company that insured the raffle was Odds On Promotions of Reno, Nev. Carlson Concha, general manager of its parent company, said Tuesday it usually takes him about three weeks to process a claim, and he can’t decide until he’s finished. He said he had not been in touch with the raffle organizers.

“The only thing I know right now is what I read on the news. I haven’t talked to the parents or kids or anybody so I’m on Day One,” Concha said.

If the Smith brothers get the money, they say most of it will go toward college while some will go to their school and hockey association.

At the least, the Owatonna family got a consolation prize. They’re in New York this week, making the rounds on the network morning news shows.