Vincent Swope never thought he'd have the chance to win $10,000 at a UK game. But that's exactly what happened this past Saturday. Vincent was picked to shoot from the half-court line during the second half of the UK versus South Carolina game.
"I just took a step, looked at the goal, and let it go," he says.
But with the big shot came controversy.
"About 5 minutes after I shot, a guy came up to me who had it on video and said 'I'm not saying you're winning, I'm not saying you're not winning. I just want you to look at the shot'," says Vincent.
Vincent says the man wanted him to review the shot. Video suggested the ball had crossed the half-court line before he released it. Word began to spread online that the prize could be in jeopardy. That's when Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones stepped in. He sounded off on Twitter that Kroger, the prize sponsor, should pay the prize money with the hashtag #OccupyKroger. The trend took off.
As word spread like wildfire throughout social media that Vincent might not receive the prize, fans as far away as Ashland came out to show their support.
"I seen people TwitPic-ing #OccupyKroger from Ashland, KY. They were at Kroger holding up signs, protesting and stuff. That means a a lot to me. That shows how the Big Blue Nation is one big family," says Swope.
Kroger officials, though, say Vincent's prize was never in danger. They say as soon as they realized the eligibility of the shot was in question, they decided to award the prize anyway. Now, the son of former WKYT anchor Valeria Cummings and state fire marshal William Swope will have an extra $10,000 he plans to use for school. He says he wants to be a sports broadcaster.