The scene at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis moments before Missouri Valley Conference basketball fan Alex Permann competed in a $50,000 shooting contest that had its highs and lows.(Photo: Paul Halfacre, USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
ST. LOUIS - Alex Permann hit a half-court shot before the Missouri Valley Conference championship game Sunday and cost himself $50,000.
That probably needs explanation.
Permann, a 24-year-old optometry student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis was selected for one of those popular shooting contests; make a layup, free throw, 3-pointer and half-court shot in the allotted time to win a prize - 24 seconds, in Sunday's case, and $50,000.
Permann hit the layup, nailed the free throw, then dashed to the midcourt line and buried a half-court shot, waving his hands in joy as the crowd roared, thinking they had just seen the big winner of the weekend.
"When I hit that shot," he said later, "I was thinking about 50 grand."
About that 3-pointer -- he forgot.
"I guess I don't listen too good," Permann said.
By the time he realized his mistake, he had time to rush off a couple of 3-point attempts, but missed.
Rules are rules. MVC officials huddled and came up with a compromise. Permann will get four tickets for life to the MVC tournament and four VIP passes and a three-day hotel stay in St. Louis for next year's tournament.
"I've got to tell you, I'm just sick," MVC associate commissioner Jack Watkins said of Permann losing his jackpot.
"Either way, it's been awesome. I just can't believe I made it," said Permann, whose main experience with basketball is playing in an intramural league once a week. He'll have the memory, anyway. Just not $50,000.
WATCH FAN COME SO CLOSE TO $50,000
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