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IU Bloomington student wins $12,000 with half-court shots

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We've all seen lucky fans hit half-court shots and win a prize and wish we could have that chance. But one fan did.

He graduated from Penn High School last year and already leaving his mark as a freshman at IU Bloomington.

Owen Kleppe graduated from Penn High School last year and he made the most of his chance Sunday walking away with $12,000.

To win, Kleppe had to hit a half-court shot, a three-pointer and another half-court shot in a row. Easy enough right? Owen says he never thought he'd be in this moment.

It was the choice of a new car or $12,000.

Kleppe had his choice after knocking down the three shots.

“Hit half-court shot to win 12-grand. I've just been playing pickup basketball with my older brothers my whole life. It was pretty crazy experience, never really played varsity basketball or anything. Just a once in a lifetime type of shot for myself,” said Kleppe.

Kleppe says he was one of 100 students who took their chance, and one of the few to even hit the first half-court shot. After making this shot he said he was going crazy and the crowd was ready for the last shot.

“My brother just came up to me and was like relax, take a deep breath and don't leave it short. So I just let it all lose and somehow it was on line and it dropped,” said Kleppe.

Admitting he got a lucky bounce, it didn't matter as the crowd went wild.

"Pure euphoria. Just started jumping up in the air at assembly hall. I just love watching the Hoosiers every time and all the basketball players were watching from the sideline. They just all ran up to me and gave me a big hug and congratulating me. Everyone was going nuts and it was a really cool experience,” said Kleppe.

Kleppe thought Monday was going to be a normal day with his brother and friend. The three thought the tournament was a good way to spend their day and help support the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation. The Bauer Foundation helps families cope with sudden loss, something close to Owen's heart.

“My mom passed away about a year ago and they do a lot of great stuff for traumatic losses and I just really appreciate the events and things they put on,” said Kleppe.

Kleppe says he's never hit this many half-court shots in his life, let alone in a row. He says he's still in shock.

“It hits me about every 10 minutes. I'm just kind of like sitting around with my friends and just like 'dang that actually happened,’” said Kleppe.

Kleppe took a $5 donation and turned into a solid $12,000. He says he is easily chalking this moment up as the best moment in college so far.

He said he might use his winnings to help with school expenses or donate some of it back to the Bauer Foundation because he really appreciates all the work they do.


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