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Insurance company refuses to pay charity for fan’s amazing $50,000 hockey shot

Feb 15, 2011, 12:36 PM EDT


A fan who made an incredible shot for charity at an Indiana Ice minor league hockey game promotion (video below) will not get the chance to give his prize money to charity, because an insurance company deemed the shot illegal. Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life approves.

Richard Marsh hit the 3-inch-diameter puck an estimated 175 feet into a target slightly larger than 3 inches wide, winning the $50,000 prize in the team’s “Hockey for Heart” promotion for St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana. Making this an even better ending, Marsh had announced before the shot that he would donate all of the money to St. Vincent Heart Center if he won.

The promotion was sponsored by AllState Insurance, but a third-party insurance company hired by the Ice was responsible for the payout. That company — which remains unnamed — voided the payout, ruling that Marsh had released the shot over the designated starting line, which was against the rules.

I believe this is the same insurance company for which Bob Parr worked in The Incredibles.

Marsh was plucked from the stands during the special “Hockey for Heart” promotion of St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana. He went onto the ice, took a hockey stick and struck the puck nearly the length of the rink, through the small hole in the target and into the net. The crowd of 4,500 went wild.

Ice owners Paul and Cindy Skjodt said they plan to make a donation of an undisclosed amount to St. Vincent’s cardiovascular unit and the American Heart Association in recognition of the accomplishment. They also plan to recognize Marsh in some fashion at a later date.

This is something I didn’t know: If your sports team conducts a promotion and there’s a cash prize involved, its apparently standard practice to hire a third-party insurer, in addition to the contest’s sponsor, in the event that the money has to be paid out. So what was AllState’s role in all of this? It wasn’t like there was a lot of expense involved in setting up the shot. What exactly were they sponsoring?

Of course a quick look around the Indiana Ice Facebook page would reveal that AllState is taking plenty of heat anyway, seeing that its name is on the promotion and all. Also the folks in the Indianapolis Star comments section are pretty riled:

These are the same insurance companies that underwrite hole-in-one payouts at golf tournaments. Every organizer of golf outings (and there are lots of them) deal with such companies. This insurance company should be named in the paper so people know to avoid it. What a bunch of weasles. He made the shot — pay the money. — 46268

There were a bunch of people from the Ice organization there who should have known the rules, and who should have moved the guy back to the right spot. I blame those Ice-holes for the mistake more than anyone else. — YouMustBeKidding

Obviously, a blatent disregard for the rules. This prima donna thinks he is above the law. This can’t be tolerated. What does it say to the children and Big Mascots ? Is this where our tax dollars are going ? What about the libraries ? Can I get a Hot Tub ? — BernieMac

Upon further (agonizing) review, Ice fan’s $50K shot voided [Indianapolis Star]

  1. agelardi - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Only thing scummier than lawyers are banks & insurance companies.

    • justwarren - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      I’m afraid this kind of behavior by insurance companies makes people hate them. And, when they behave this way they deserve to be hated. $50K is a parking ticket for an insurance company. The guy makes an incredibly difficult shot. Don’t disqualify him on a technicality. He’s not a professional hockey player. This is severe bull****, forgive my language. The guy should get paid! Period!

    • cofcdilemma - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      Why does this artical soft-pedal this by saying title read “Insurace Company refuses to pay” rather than posting “ALLSTATE REFUSES TO PAY”?!!! I had to google just to find out which insurance company it was. You guys in the media are giving ALLSTATE a free pass. Must be afraid of losing their advertizing DOLLARS or something….

  2. aious - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Keep following up on this story

    This is insanely ridiculous and the company deserves to be named and MOCKED nationally

    Absolute scumbags

  3. hhallste - Feb 16, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    I f I would run an insurance company I would use that opportunity to take customers off these loser company (doesn’t matter if a 3rd party company was contracted). Just give all members of that company a top offer and promise to sell the 50k when you are berak even. that will be the best advertising ever and the money go where it belongs too.

  4. hhallste - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    If I would run an insurance company I would use that opportunity to take customers off these loser company (doesn’t matter if a 3rd party company was contracted). Just give all members of that company a top offer and promise to payout the 50k to tzhe hospital when you are break even. That will be the best advertising ever and the money go where it belongs too.

  5. ndreece - Feb 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    The rules are the rules, unfortunately. This is how insurance companies make money. They are a business. It is called capitalism. If you don’t like it move to Canada.

    • cur68 - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      ‘Rules are Rules’ my hairy beige bum. $50K is as nothing for an insurance co. & the good PR for honoring the shot would more than make up for it. Capitalism gets a bad rep over crap like this; as a system it was never deigned to be heartless (no pun intended), but it was designed as style of governance which promoted good business practices. It’s simply good business to donate money to a charity especially as when you can claim it as a tax deduction and generate a bag load of good will towards your company’s name. This weasel wording over where he took the shot from is a matter of about a foot. I’ve tried shots like that and a foot advantage makes NO difference. What this guy did, including intending to donate the prize to charity, was remarkable and he deserves the prize for the shot as well as his intentions.

      • hhallste - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        correct statement cur68, can you imagine sobody hire that ‘capitalist’ ?,.haha,…good night and good luck,.

    • hhallste - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      ndreece, what do you know about capitalism ? Is that the system that works in the US ? Peolpe like you mix up Ethics & character with professional aatitude and skills to use a Situation like that to their benfits. Stay with you dump statement and your talent,..Canada,..ha,..that is biggest distance you traveled,..great,.