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What Are The Odds? Fan Wins $1 Million

Reader Kevin Schultz points us to a Chicago Tribune blog that reports that a Blackhawks fan won $1 million last night when winger Martin Havlat scored. The promotion from the Illinois Lottery says that if a Hawks player scored exactly at the 10:00 mark in the second period, a lucky fan would win $1 million.

Havlat scored exactly at that time and so an unidentified fan, who met Havlat after the game, took home the prize. Since the odds of this happening seemed so low, we called the folks at US Hole In One (link: www.usholeinone.com), an insurance company that specializes in insuring these types of contests to give us an estimate as to how likely this was to actually happen.

Greg Esterhai of US Hole In One says the odds of a player scoring a goal at any second in any game is about 1 in 1,000. But Esterhai says that since the promotion is a season-long promotion, the odds go down to about a 1 in 25 chance. He said that this makes the goal promotion more likely to happen over the course of a season than a fan hitting a full court shot in any particular game, which is about a 1 in 50 chance.

By the way, we couldn’t find the promotion on the Illinois Lottery’s site anymore, which could mean that once it happened, the promotion ends.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com