Low-percentage shot nothing but net

Basketball coach adds up jersey numbers, gets nice sum of $113,000

Sports Plus

January 20, 2002|By Andy Knobel | Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF

Sometimes, putting your money on a bad team can be a good gamble.

When Randy Hatch, coach of the winless Carroll Academy Lady Jaguars in Huntingdon, Tenn., bought a Fantasy 5 lottery ticket during a trip to Florida last month, he selected the numbers of his five starting players.

Back home in Tennessee a few days later, he checked on the Internet and found the winning numbers: 15, 22, 23, 31 and 35.

"I thought, these sure do look familiar," he said.

Hatch booked a flight to Tampa and verified that he, indeed, had the winning ticket, worth $113,000. Upon returning the next day, he gathered his girls and boys teams and told them he had a secret to share.

Some players worried he was taking another job.

Instead, he announced his good fortune and that he was picking up the tab for the teams' planned 110-mile trip to a Memphis Grizzlies NBA game.

"I really thought he was kidding with us until he showed us the ticket," said Summer Garriott, a three-year starter.

Hatch had bought a second ticket using the numbers of his starting five boys players. He got three out of the five on that one and won an additional $10.

"It's sure been a good week," he said.

Hatch might not be the best basketball coach in the world, but he sure knows how to pick a starting lineup.

No sinking feeling

Not every bad girls basketball team gets lucky.

After Georgia's Frederica Academy lost last month to Memorial Day School, 89-1, losing coach David Cutia said, "We started to get some good looks in the second half, but the shots just didn't fall."

Betting mulligan

New Zealand's national betting agency was offering anyone willing to bet against Tiger Woods in this month's New Zealand Open a money-back offer.

Bettors who backed one of the 143 golfers playing against Woods got a refund if their player finished ahead of Woods - even if their choice doesn't win.

Sizing up the odds

In bickering with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal suggested that Cuban was lucky to be so rich.

Cuban, a dot-com billionaire, took offense."'Yeah, everything I've done is luck," Cuban said sarcastically. "But Shaq being 7 feet 2, 300 pounds - that was planned."

Their time has come

Some guys have all the luck:

Americo Massaroni of Schenectady, N.Y., and Dave Crosbee of Mount Pleasant, S.C., each had two holes in one in one round last year.

Golf Digest estimated the odds of their feats at 67 million to 1.

"It's taken awhile to sink in," Crosbee said.

Freddie Crockett of Roanoke, Va., had two holes in one within a half-hour. They were the first aces in his 26 years of golfing.

"I had a couple of my buddies call me the next day and say, `You lying son-of-a-gun.' " Crockett said.

David Howard of Brookings, S.D., made a hole in one and bowled a 300 game within 26 hours.

"I'm definitely going to go buy some Powerball tickets," he said.


When figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's father won $1 million in the Massachusetts lottery a few years ago, reader Bob Lacey wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I hear when he was informed of his good fortune, he said, `Why me?' "

Dropping a bundle

Betting isn't confined to humans.

A joke from Mike Bianchi of The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel:

"Two pigeons are flying over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. One says to the other: "I'm putting everything I have on the Bucs."

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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