When you have an opportunity to win an obscene amount of money as an 11 year-old, you probably should take it. Nick Smith's name was drawn at the Shattuck St. Mary's vs. The World celebrity hockey game on Thursday night, and he got the opportunity to shoot a puck down the ice through a 3.5" hole for $50,000. If you're wondering what the odds are of scoring through this hole in the plywood, I have no idea. I do know that a hockey puck is approximately three inches wide, so the margin for error in this shot is extremely small. Some have compared it to getting a hole-in-one in golf since the margin of error for golfers is also extremely small, so that should tell you how difficult accomplishing this feat actually is.
Let's go to the video to catch Nick Smith's opportunity to win $50,000.
Or so it seemed. You see, Nick wasn't in the arena when his name was called out as the lucky shooter selected by the fundraising group. His twin brother, Nate, was in the arena and heard Nick's name called, so he stepped forward as Nick. Being twins, no one suspected a thing until Nick got back to his seat.
"I was outside when my name was called," Nick Smith told KARE 11's Dave Berggren. "So Nate took the shot in my place.
"I walked back in and my friend told me my brother made the shot. I was shocked."
So if Nick didn't shoot, what happens?
"Legally, it has to be the person whose name is on the ticket," April Clark, general manager for Odds On Promotions, the tournament insurance carrier, told the Toronto Star. "We really are very careful about explaining that it has to be the person."
Miss Clark also added that a representative from Odds On Promotions will look at this case as an exception, and review the matter before deciding on whether the Smith boys are $50,000 richer. Of course, this leads to the questions about how no one knew that Nate had stepped in for Nick.
"They’re minors, so they didn’t have any identification. We had to go by appearance," tournament chair Vance Vinar Jr., who didn't know the Smith boys, told the Star. He wouldn’t comment about whether Nate actually told organizers he was his identical, fractionally taller twin.
My take? Let the kids share the money. No one expected them to score, and regardless of whether it was Nate or Nick, one of the Smith boys put the puck in the net. To make things even more unbelievable, Nate, the goal-scorer, just had a cast taken off his arm!
Nate, an Ovechkin fan, and Nick, a Crosby fan, did the right thing: they fessed up to the deceit. Even if it's not the whole $50,000, reward these kids for not only scoring, but for doing the right thing. We talk about wanting role models to set good examples, so reward these kids for being honest about their deception and turn them into role models for lots of kids.
Here's an idea: give them a shot at attending Shattuck St. Mary's on a scholarship instead of handing them a cheque! Not only do the kids benefit, but the school benefits as well! If we want to develop excellent hockey players that are incredible people, reward them for their honesty.
I guarantee you that if they get a shot at doing what they love - playing hockey - that reward will go a lot further than the money. And both Smith kids see the value of being honest - a lesson a lot of the world needs to embrace.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!