FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — It was an amazing hockey shot, with the puck sliding into a tiny hole from center ice for a $50,000 prize. But a penalty was called on the Minnesota boy who made the shot during a charity event because his twin brother should have been wielding the stick.

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. Instead, the company said it would donate $20,000 to youth hockey in Minnesota in the boys’ names.

With one shot, 11-year-old Nate Smith hit the puck through a hole cut into a board from 89 feet away during a charity hockey game at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in the southern Minnesota city of Faribault on Aug. 11. But it was Nate’s identical twin, Nick, whose raffle ticket won the chance to take the shot at a hole just slightly larger than the puck.

The boys’ father, Pat Smith of Owatonna, said Nick was going outside with his buddies and told his brother to try.

“It didn’t even dawn on me he (Nate) was going to make it,” Smith told The Associated Press Wednesday.

He told organizers the next day about his sons’ swap. “You could tell they weren’t feeling right about it,” Smith said of the boys.

“We weren’t trying to hide anything,” he added. “We just felt honesty was the best policy.”

Originally, Smith said he was going to write Nate’s name on the raffle ticket before the drawing. But Nate begged off because he had just had a cast removed, his father said.

“We greatly respect the eventual honesty of the Smith family,” Mark Gilmartin, president of Odds On Promotions, said in a news release. “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.”

Smith said the boys, who are entering sixth grade, are disappointed they won’t get the money but are excited that youth hockey will benefit.

“They understand,” Smith said.

Nick and Nate Smith play for the Owatonna Youth Hockey Association. Odds On Promotions said the $20,000 donation will benefit that organization as well as the Faribault Youth Hockey Association, the promotion’s original beneficiary.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. dan says:

    That is a load of b.s. It’s another example of a corpration not living up to their word…. Give the boy the money…..

  2. AntiTeabagger says:

    BOOOOO on the promoters, what a load of BS!! The dad paid for the raffle ticket I am sure, Since the boy didn’t would they take it away from them too? Jerks!

  3. Pate says:

    So the organizers stuck to the rules and that’s bad? Sounds to me like the family is accepting the money going to charity gracefully,and I’m sure that the brothers are learning the important lesson that you don’t always get what you want.

    1. Realist says:

      More like an important lesson that if there is any way to weasel out of an obligation its accaptable to do so no matter how unethical…

  4. Chris says:

    The wages of sin are death. What is the benefit of becoming the wealthiest person on earth if you lose your soul? This is a story about the cost of lying and the incalculable value of telling the truth. The dad and kids are to be commended for telling the truth in the face of enormous temptation to do wrong. This story seems like bad guys ripping off some kids, but it’s bigger than that.

    1. Jeff says:

      Sin=Death??? “lose your soul???? Religious wack job is what you are “Chris”…better wise up, it is what its and then you die. Grow up and stop believing in make believe fairy tales.

  5. Realist says:

    The D-bag promoters should have at the very least donated the full amount to the charity… What a load of BS.

  6. The Conclusion says:

    Pffft- The BEST ‘lesson’ for anyone would’ve been for them to award the full amount AS A PUBLIC-REWARD for their dad being honest/telling the truth– to both boys!!! All they did was encourage folks to LIE by omitting part of the truth!
    And yes- good point, it is probably illegal for underage-kids to even participate/win $ as ‘owners’ of a raffle-ticket; it’s gambling for a chance to win a prize; so the dad was the owner regardless of which child ‘participated’! I’d consult a lawyer and sue for the money that the dad-owner/kid-participant won fair-and-square!

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      No it is not gambling, nor is it illegal in any way.

      Ever heard of chuck-a-puck? You think that’s illegal too? Give me a break.

  7. Sue J says:

    What a great father!! You set the standard for others! Well Done Sir!!

  8. I'm Just Sayin' says:

    congratulations to all. Tough decision for the dad and boys I am sure, but it was the right thing to do. Good job by the insurance company to do soemthing significant, but not set an example that cheating is acceptible by paying out the full amount. Finally a feel good story with a good lesson in it for everyone.

  9. TL says:

    Corp is betting on the family not taking this to court since it would probably cost about $50K to fight it…or close to it. The Corp would lose in that case.

    Ah well, good for the dad for setting a positive example.

    Betcha the corp starts putting name disclaimers in thier contests going forward though.

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      Uhh no, they would not lose a court battle over this. The family would not have a leg to stand on and the case would never even make it to a court room.

    2. fully informed says:

      FYI the name diclosure is already in the contract. Get the facts before you post your uninformed opinions.

  10. JGambrell says:

    The family did the right thing so now the company needs to belly up to the bar and give the boy the money for making a life time shot.

  11. The Truth is Out There says:

    I think Odds On did the right thing! $20K donation is very generous… especially considering the father didn’t fess up until after the fact! Faribault has a great article about the whole situation here: http://bit.ly/qxTNZE

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