Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024

Heartbreak at half-court: Million dollar shot nets nothing as insurance company backs out



Chicago Bulls fan’s immaculate shot leads to legal hoops over missing payout

In a bizarre turn of events, a Chicago Bulls fan found himself on the wrong end of a million-dollar promise after making an extraordinary shot during a basketball game, only to have the insurance company backtrack on the payout.

On 14 April 1993, Don Calhoun seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during a timeout in the third quarter of a Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat game. Taking an 80-foot shot from the free-throw line at the opposite end of the basketball court, Calhoun swished the ball through the net, believing he had just secured a $1 million jackpot.

The shot, part of a promotion held 19 times that year by the Chicago Bulls, left spectators, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, in awe. However, the jubilation was short-lived as the insurance company responsible for the payout, American Hole ‘N One Inc, attempted to renege on the deal.

The fine print of the insurance agreement revealed that Calhoun, having played college basketball, violated the contest rules, leading to the voiding of the payment. Insurance companies often enforce strict regulations, including the requirement that contestants must be randomly selected from the crowd, and teams must clarify the rules to participants.

According to ABC7 Chicago, it is not uncommon for franchises to step in and cover the prize themselves when issues arise. In Calhoun’s case, sponsors Coca-Cola, the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, and the Bulls pledged to honor the prize in the insurance company’s absence.

As a result, Calhoun, far from becoming an instant millionaire, received $50,000 annually over the next two decades. Despite keeping his day job as an office supplies salesman, he received $38,000 each year after taxes until 2013.

“In reality, you’re not rich,” Calhoun remarked to ABC7 Chicago about the unexpected turn of events. As of 2023, the ball used for the historic shot now rests in the possession of Calhoun’s son.


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