Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The $50K decision and what we can all learn September 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:15 AM
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ODDS ON PROMOTIONS made the right call Wednesday when it failed to award $50,000 to an 11-year-old Owatonna boy who sunk a hockey puck into a 1.5 by 3.5-inch hole during an August 11 charity hockey event in Faribault.

Nate Smith, who made the shot from 89 feet, wasn’t even supposed to be on the ice. It was his twin brother Nick’s name that was drawn to attempt the shot. But Nick had stepped outside the hockey arena, so Nate subbed for Nick.

Not until the next day did the Smith family reveal to officials that Nate, not Nick, sunk the puck.

That ignited a firestorm of controversy with the story going national. Should the Smiths get the $50,000?

The Reno, Nevada, group insuring the event ruled yesterday that because of legal and contractual issues, the Smiths will not get the $50,000.

That was the right decision, in my opinion, given Nate obviously is not Nick and, although the family told officials the truth the following day, they did not do so initially.

Yet, despite the decision, there are still winners in this story. Odds On Promotions is donating $20,000 in the brothers’ names to youth hockey programs in Owatonna—where the Smith boys play hockey—and in Faribault.

That’s a smart move on Odds On Promotions part. You can’t buy that kind of positive publicity for $20,000. Plus, the substantial gift will calm the ire of those who may disagree with the company’s decision.

The Smiths aren’t complete losers here either. Friday morning they’ll appear on “The Today Show,” according to an article in The Faribault Daily News. Shortly after Nate made the shot and the controversy started, the family was in New York making the talk show rounds.

In summary, we could all learn a lesson from this story about rules, honesty and compromise.

WHAT’S YOUR OPINION on the decision made by Odds On Promotions not to award the Smith family $50,000? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?