Man Who Made Money-Winning Shot Wasn’t Going to Be Paid

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Back in 1993, one man was given the chance to try an impossible shot during an NBA game for the prize of one million dollars. To everyone’s amazement, Don Calhoun made a clear shot from one side of the court to the other. The surprises didn’t end there. Calhoun first celebrated with basketball legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen but later discovered he wouldn’t be paid the prize.

A Million Dollar Basketball Shot

At first, Calhoun believed his shot earned him one million dollars, but it turned out that the insurance company wouldn’t pay the prize. American Hole ‘N One Inc. refused to pay because they discovered Calhoun had played college basketball. This was a violation of the rules, and insurance companies aren’t known to be loose with the fine print.

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This fun legendary basketball shot became known as the ‘Calhoun shot’. It was made during a regular-season game that took place on April 14, 1993. The teams playing were the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, and Calhoun was picked from the Bulls crowd in a timeout. The likelihood of making the shot was less than 1%. Despite the success, the rules stated that anyone attempting the shot must never have participated in organized basketball.

Calhoun Eventually Got Paid

While the rules were broken and no payment was to be made, the story was not over. The teams responsible for explaining the rules to participants often pay the contestants themselves in cases where an issue like this arises. In this case, it was the sponsors of the event who stepped up to compensate Calhoun. Those were the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant and Coca-Cola, who agreed with the Bulls to cover the prize money.

This was how Calhoun got the one million dollar prize but in $50,000 payments over 20 years. Of course, there were taxes, but he still got payments into 2013. He also kept his job as an office supplies salesman.