Pizza Hut awarding $10K, pizza for a year to West Chester student

Watch report from Action News
February 18, 2014 8:24:22 PM PST
Pizza Hut is awarding a West Chester University freshman $10,000 plus free pizza for a year following a controversial halftime challenge.

Pizza Hut PR Director Doug Terfehr reached out to 18-year-old Jack Lavery via email, saying in part, "We'd seriously like to offer you $10,000, plus free pizza for a year. No strings attached. You epitomize greatness."

During the West Chester men's basketball game against Shippensburg University, Lavery was randomly picked for the halftime challenge - successfully make four shots in sequence within 25 seconds - and the prize was $10,000.

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Lavery successfully made a lay-up, a shot from the behind the free throw line, and then a shot behind the three-point line.

As the clock was winding down, Lavery attempted the half-court shot, but missed.

While the contest was officially over after the missed shot, the clock continued. Lavery retrieved the ball, attempted another half-court shot, making it in the net as the buzzer went off.

However, on Monday West Chester University Athletic Director Edward Matejkovic told Action News that since Lavery missed the first attempted half-court shot, the university would not be awarding the $10,000, as he did not make all four shots in a row.

Matejkovic says Lavery was made aware he could only make one attempt at the half-court shot.

In the contract signed by Lavery obtained by Action News, the rules state, "I shall have as many opportunities as necessary at each of the first three (3) locations to make a shot; however, no more than ONE (1) attempt may be made at the HALF COURT shot, provided that there is still time left on the shot clock."

"I stopped and did that one handed shot and it happened to go in. I ran to the other side of the court just high fiving everyone and then I went and bear hugged my dad," said Lavery.

Lavery was told after he made the shot that, per the rules, he would not be getting the prize money.

"I was kind of let down a little bit like, 'Wow you're trying to pull that on me right now.' I wasn't even aware of that," he said.

Despite the bad news, the YouTube hits continued to climb - eventually reaching Pizza Hut's PR department.


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