One lucky spectator landed a £5,000 prize after being the first person ever to succeed in the “Shoot For Loot” competition at a Belfast Giants game in the Odyssey Arena on Saturday night. Team sponsors Ladbrokes put up the £5000 purse for the contest which takes place at every home game during the first intermission, but the bookmaker had avoided a payout for the three years since its inception.
On Saturday however, Stephen Bannister from Moneyreagh defied the odds by successfully hitting the puck through a hole only slightly bigger than the object itself from a staggering distance of almost 100 feet away.
Hayley O’Connor of the sponsors said: “This was verging on the impossible, I’m guessing a 1000/1 shot so we weren’t expecting the payout but hats off to Stephen who raised the roof on the arena last weekend.”
O’Connor added: “Stephen says he’s going to take his girlfriend on a trip to the Big Apple with the winnings and plans to get in some NHL action while he’s there. Perhaps he might be able to teach them a thing or two!”
Stephen Bannister entered a competition on twitter where two participants were selected to contend the “Shoot For Loot”. After defeating a female opponent in ten shots at the net, Stephen went forward to the centre ice where he was allowed 2 pucks at the target, scoring on the second.
Belfast Giants General Manager Todd Kelman said: “We have been doing this for 3 years now and nobody has even come close but it indeed went in and the 4,000 people in the Odyssey went nuts.”