Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The $50,000 Fib...

These two little boys ~~ and their father ~~ have just learned a very expensive lesson in honesty. Eleven year-old Nick Smith won a lottery in a Minnesota benefit hockey game last week. If he could shoot a puck from the opposite blue line toward a 3½-inch hole and make a successful shot, he would $50.000. The trouble is, when his name was called, Nick was outside and his identical twin brother Nate stepped into his place. The event organizer asked Nate if his name was Nick, and Nate said, "Yes". He stepped onto the ice, made the 90-foot shot, and the puck went into the 3½-inch hole. Everyone was shocked, including professional hockey players.  "How on earth did he do that?"

Right shot, wrong kid.

Afterwards, their father, Pat Smith, told officials of the switch. "We kind of went along with it that it was Nick," Pat Smith told KEYC-TV. "Then the next day I called back and said, 'You know, it was really Nate that made the shot.' We thought honesty was the best policy, and we wanted to set a good example for our kids." The insurance company, Odds On Promotions, still is deciding whether to pay up. If it receives the money, the family said it will go for the twins' college educations.

Asked if he and his brother will continue to swap places, Nate Smith replied: "We have before, but I don't think we can again."

They have before? That's interesting.

I am of two minds as to whether or not they should be paid the $50,000.  Just because they are brothers and identical twins, they are not the same person.  It's kind of a *bait and switch* situation.  On the other hand... Nate did make the difficult shot ~~ and won.

If ever there were a situation that required the wisdom of Solomon, this is it.  According to a survey, 76% of people think the boys should get the $50,000, and only 24% think they should not.  I am indecisive at the moment, but the fact that they have switched identities before sort of sways me towards thinking they should not get the money.

I guess for these boys ~~ and their father ~~ they're never too young to learn a lesson.  I would be interested to know what folks think about this.  Should they get the money?

26 comments:

auntie12 said...

Difficult call.....

They are boys. Show me any boys, who are identical twins, who have not "switched places." It's a fantasy dream. Guess show me any identical twins, of either sex, who have not done this.

Yes, it's high time for them to learn not to. And I kind of think they have. And this has been a hard lesson, as a way to learn.

But I am soft hearted enough to want them to get the money for their education.

Just my view...

Oh and I am swayed because I have an 11 year old Grand Son, whom I adore. Just a boy, and I just know, that if he had an identical twin, they would have tried switching too. :-) Even though they do have to learn when NOT to.

I look at these boys faces, and I can not want to deny them the money, for college education. :-) Wimp=me. I know. -grin-

Mia said...

Twins are evil little mamzers any way you slice them. But if the person who made the shot is supposed to get the prize what difference does it make what his name is?

Indian Pundit said...

Dear Jo.

They should get it simply because they are KIDS.

I dont expect "little boys" to make profound moral judgements about what is right and what is wrong....

Regards

Jo said...

Auntie, you know, I feel the same way you do. My first tendency was to give them the money. I just hope they don't do it again. :-)

Mia, well, Nick won the lottery, not Nate. They are two different people. There are folks who might call that a scam.

IP, well, they have to fill in an insurance form, confirming that Nick (the lottery winner) took the shot. So, they cannot truthfully do that, unfortunately.

leilani said...

gosh Jo Good question...i think It should go into a trust for their college, if they dont go to school they dont get the money. Honesty.... learn it now when u are young... the older you get the less guts u have to tell the truth! =)

Jo said...

Leilani. Hi! Yes, I think these two young fellows need to understand that they may be identical twins, but they are not interchangeable. In my world, that is called cheating. :-)

Single and Sane said...

I'm bothered by it, too. I suspect their dad never imagined that Nate would make the shot and then was caught up in the excitement when he did. At the same time, I give him credit for coming forward the next day and telling the truth. However it turns out, he showed them that it's never too late to set things straight.

Margaret

Jo said...

Margaret, yes, I agree with you. They could have just kept quiet about it, but they admitted it was the wrong boy. What a dilemma, hey?

DJan said...

They should NOT get the money. It's just a lesson that would never have been learned if the shot was missed. But it wasn't, and now... they get to learn a very expensive lesson. :-)

Jo said...

Djan, yes, I think the lesson was the most important thing ~~ just at the right time, too. I think they have learned their lesson ... we one would hope, anyway. :-)

Linda Myers said...

Tough call, I think. The "real" boy was outside. His brother took his place.

Russell said...

Interesting story. Glad to see the father called the contest sponsors the following morning and confessed that his son Nate - not Nick - had actually made the shot.

The rules are clear. The name of the person on the ticket must be the person who takes the shot.

Perhaps the insurance company will still give the family the $50,000 in the spirit of promoting honesty and generating a lot of goodwill.

After all, it costs something like $2 million for an ad during the Super Bowl So $50,000 is not a great amount of money for a lot of nice publicity.

We'll see what happens.

Jay said...

Had the person whose name was drawn not had an identical twin to sub for him when he was outside, another name would have been drawn and THAT person would have had a chance to take the shot and perhaps win the money. In reality is Nate stole that unknown persons opportunity to win.

I understand that he is just a kid and I am sure he didn't think any further than scooping his brothers opportunity to take but the fact is the win isn't his nor is it his brothers'. It wasn't his opportunity, and his brother missed his chance by being outside.

the walking man said...

ALL twins who can switch up now and then, that really isn't the issue. Right shot wrong kid is. Not the right kid unfortunately no check should be coming.

Too bad it would have made a good start for a college fund but then I doubt it would have lasted that long. Pops would need a new truck etc etc etc long before they were ready for college.

Shelly Rayedeane said...

This reminds me of the story where a woman was gambling at a casino and needed to go to the bathroom really bad.

She happened to be at a really good machine and asked her underage son to hold her spot for her while she took a trip to the ladie's room.

Unfortunately, her son couldn't resist the chance just to pull the handle down just one time, and in one handle pull...

Bing...bing...bing...

The machine hit the progressive totaling just over a million dollars.

However, the camera caught the underage gambler playing and his mother never got her money.

To answer your question though, about the hockey twins, I do believe the boys should get about half of the money only for one reason.

And that is because whoever offered the money, to begin with, only did so knowing it was an impossible shot.

So even though the boys cheated, so did the person who offered the money.

I don't honestly think anybody thought either twin would make the shot.

It was a fluke.

If I was that kid's parent though, I'd force him to be on a hockey team.

Sometimes where the real money can be made is in unforeseen potential.

diane said...

I really haven't thought about the money part of this and if they should get it. Mostly I was impressed with the dad for coming forward and making this a good learning experience not only for him and his boys but it was a wonderful example for the whole world. In my book honesty and intigrity outweigh the prize. If the dad would have let it go and the twins played along with it that would have taught them "something" but it wouldn't have been the right thing to teach you child. Just my thoughts.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the end.

Nothing ventured nothing gained. He took the shot and made it. That in itself was awesome.

Paula said...

This is a difficult call, only because it involves children, and the money would go for college. If you look strictly at the rules, it is an easy call--they don't get the money.Some unlucky person lost their chance to win.

It makes me wonder under what other circumstances they have stood in for each other. There were twin boys in my first grade class and they refused to cooperate about their identity. The teacher could not tell them apart. After two weeks of the nonsense, they were separated and in two different class rooms.

KrippledWarrior said...

That's an easy one. I don't know!

young-eclectic-encounters said...

I too am undecided although I think honesty is the best policy, this is kind of a grey situation, dark grey, In this case the brother who made the shot is not the one who won the opportunity and should not have been given the chance, but he did indeed make it when his brother was not available. If the switch was made because one was better than the other I would say absolutely they should not get the money. I don't think they intention was bad but it was still not honest and being twins gives them somewhat of an advantage that most people can not use. This is indeed a hard one- intentions may have been good but it was brought congratulations to the Dad for reporting it.
Johnina :D
Johnina

Pauline said...

Credit and notoriety for an impossible shot? Yes. Money? No, not if to get it would make the contest rules moot. I agree with Jay - some other kid did not get a chance because Nate lied about who he really was. Good for Papa for fessing up.

Penny said...

I have a twin brother and we had a grandmother with an identical twin sister. We loved hearing stories of how they switched identities as youngsters. We always wished we could do that too. Who didn't love Hayley Mills in Parent Trap, where the "twin sisters" meet for the first time. It's too bad it wasn't Nate's name that was called. He made the imposswible shot. I think he should get the money. In all liklihood, if another name would have been called, it would have been a missed shot anyway. Kudos to dad for honesty. Bet it wasn't easy to make that call.

Paula Slade said...

I realize these are kids and they are twins, but in real life, actions have consequences.

This is a true "Solomon moment."

My question is: When the father said, "We kind of went along with it that it was Nick," did either of the parents recognize that it was the wrong child before the shot was made?

lgsquirrel said...

There was no reason to expect that one boy was more likely to make the shot instead of the other so the mix up in identities was not with any intent to defraud or improve the odds. I think they should give the money to the boy that shot the puck and put the father in the penalty box.

lovelyprism said...

Did they have to buy this lottery ticket? Because if they did, I'm betting their Dad paid for it, so it doesn't really matter which kid shot the puck. The money should go to their family for the kids' education.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think it depends on why they switched places. If it was premeditated because Nate was known to be the better player, then they should not get the prize money. But if it was just a case of Nick being unavailable (and the reason for that matters, too,) they should. Also,it should be factored in that twins, especially identical twins, do feel more like a single entity than single siblings, I've heard. But wow, what a great shot!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

P.S. I do hope they get the money, though. College is not cheap, and since they share everything, it should be used to help them both.

I have known many pairs of identical twins, and all of them switched places with great delight. I envied them when I was growing up.