World

Twin's miracle shot earns $20K donation to hockey

Eleven-year-old Nate Smith won't get the $50,000 prize for shooting a puck through a hole in a board 27 metres away at a charity contest in Minnesota in early August, but it still looks like a happy ending for everyone.

Eleven-year-old Nate Smith won't get the $50,000 prize for shooting a puck through a hole in a board 27 metres away at a charity contest in Minnesota in early August, but it still looks like a happy ending for everyone.

The company that insured the event, Odds On Promotions of Reno, Nev., says that due to "contractual breaches and legal implications" it is unable to pay the claim. Instead, the company said it would donate $20,000 to youth hockey in Minnesota in the boys' names.

Nate Smith, 11, and his dad Pat are flanked by officials after a charity hockey game in Faribault, Minn., where Nate Smith appeared to win $50,000. (Brendan Burnett-Kurie/Associated Press)
With one miracle shot on the ice at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minn., on Aug. 11, Nate Smith fired a puck through a hole only slightly wider than the puck itself.

The crowded roared, and Nick Smith was declared the winner of the $50,000 prize.

Nick?

That was the problem. When his turn to take a shot came up, Nick was outside with some buddies. So his dad, Pat Smith, sent identical twin Nate out onto the ice, never figuring the kid would score.

"It didn't even dawn on me he [Nate] was going to make it," Smith told The Associated Press

Thinking it over the next day, Smith and family decided to admit the last-minute switch of twins. As a result, no $50,000 for the Smiths, but hockey in southern Minnesota will benefit, and CNBC reports that the boys will get summer scholarships to a hockey camp.

"We greatly respect the eventual honesty of the Smith family," Mark Gilmartin, president of Odds On Promotions, said in a 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 Grade 6, are disappointed they won't get the money but are excited that youth hockey will benefit.

"They understand," Smith said.

Adds Nate: "Some people probably wouldn't tell the truth, and it's cool that we did."

The Smith twins 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.

With files from The Associated Press

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