KANSAS CITY, Kan. – In one of the biggest cash prizes given to a fan by a sports team, the Kansas City T-Bones awarded Tina West of Overland Park, Kan., with a check for $100,000 Wednesday night as winner of the 7th Street Casino Bull’s-eye contest.
After calling her earlier in the week, representatives from the T-Bones and 7th Street Casino surprised West with the prize at her home.
“I usually enter all of the drawings when I’m at the games, so when the T-Bones called and said they were bringing something, I thought it was a go-kart,” West said of one of the prizes during the season. “I never imagined in my wildest dreams it would be $100,000.”
The 7th Street Casino Bull’s-eye contest is simple enough: a fan signs up at that night’s game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, a T-Bones player hits a home run into a “bull’s-eye” approximately the size of a basketball hoop, about 360 feet from home plate and 35 feet above the field, and a fan’s name is drawn. Easy, right? For the first time in team history — more than 500 home games — Kansas City infielder Nick Giarraputo (pronounced Jerra-pooto) hit the bull’s-eye on June 7 in the fourth inning against Laredo. West’s name was drawn at random from the fans who registered that night.
“This is a wonderful night for us,” T-Bones president Adam Ehlert said shortly after West received the check. “I can say without qualifying it that in our 12-year history, this is the most fun I’ve had with the T-Bones. We’re thrilled to present this check to Tina.”
“It’s very exciting to give money away — that’s one of the things we do well,” said Jerrell Royal, the marketing manager for 7th Street Casino. “We’re excited to be part of this experience.”
Incidentally, Giarraputo’s home run was his first with the T-Bones, and it capped a three-run inning that helped propel Kansas City to a 5-3 win over Laredo in front of 5,922 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.