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LA Lakers fans best at hitting half court shots winning over $500,000

Max Barlow
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At NBA arenas, the action between the players on the court only represents a portion of the overall fan experience. In-arena entertainment, from performances and contests to giveaways and promotions, has become a major factor in attracting fans to games. One of the standout events at a game are the halftime and mid-game contests. These contests invite lucky fans onto the court to participate in a game to win a prize. 

The most popular contest involves making a half-court shot, but sinking golf putts, layups, free throws, and 3-pointers are common alternatives. The prizes for contest wins vary from team to team, but money is the leading gift. However, teams will award cars and vacations to lucky fans from time to time. Just as the prizes vary, the monetary amount given away differs for each team. 

Some teams have given away significantly bigger prizes than others. In this study, bestsportsbettingcanada.ca examined some of the NBA in-arena contests from the past 10 years and recorded the biggest wins for each team’s fans. 

LA Lakers fans are best at hitting half court shots winning over $500,000

Most fan half court shots sunk (since 2010) Number of shots sunk Prize Money/Prize Value Awarded
Los Angeles Lakers 6 $545,000
Oklahoma City Thunder 4 $80,000
Sacramento Kings 3 $70,000
Houston Rockets 2 $50,000
Golden State Warriors 2 $47,000
New York Knicks 2 $36,000
Phoenix Suns 1 $32,735
Memphis Grizzlies 2 $30,000
Indiana Pacers 1 $25,000
New Orleans Pelicans 1 $25,000
San Antonio Spurs 2 $20,000
Charlotte Hornets 2 $17,500
Atlanta Hawks 1 $10,000
Detroit Pistons 1 $10,000
Los Angeles Clippers 1 $10,000
Milwaukee Bucks 1 $10,000
Brooklyn Nets 1 $5,000
Orlando Magic 1 $5,000
Philadelphia 76ers 1 $3,500


The Los Angeles Lakers paid the most money to fans who won their in-arena contests. The Lakers gifted $100,000 multiple times to select fans who made half-court shots. The Lakers also awarded $75,000 and $95,000 after making half-court shots. No other team in the NBA conducted a promotion of at least $75,000.

The Oklahoma City Thunder came in behind the Lakers for the most prize money given to fans. The Thunder awarded $20,000 to four fans who made a half-court shot. The Portland Trail Blazers awarded $50,000 to a fan who made a full-court golf putt. 

The monetary values typically ranged from $10,000 to $30,000 for teams that awarded fans prize money. Most of these contests were half-court shots. 

Teams Who Paid The Least Money/Prizes To Fans For Contest Wins

Of the teams* recorded in the study, the Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, and Dallas Mavericks awarded fans the least prize money for winning contests. The Magic paid $5,000 to a fan for making a half-court shot, while the Nets awarded a fan with a Barbados trip worth approximately $5,000 for the same feat. 

Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks awarded a fan multiple prizes, including a gift certificate and a Sony 65-inch 4K TV, for making a layup, free throw, 3-pointer, and half-court. The estimated value of the gifts is between $1,000 and $2,000.

*Data from the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Toronto Raptors was not disclosed.

Teams Who Awarded Fans With Cars

While money was the most popular prize, select teams gave away cars to fans who won in-arena contests. The Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz rewarded a contest-winning fan with a car. 

The Kings and the Jazz were the only teams to give away at least two cars. Each car’s retail price varies depending on the year and model. In 2015, the Warriors awarded a fan with a 2015 BMWi3, with an approximate value of $42,000, the highest value on the list. 

Prizes Awarded For Winning Non-Shooting Contests

Converting a half-court shot was the most prominent contest throughout the league. However, there were alternative contests that did not involve shooting a basketball.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers ran golf putting contests. Cleveland gifted a fan with $10,000 in prize money for sinking a putt, while the Blazers handed out $50,000 for a made putt.

The Golden State Warriors ran a promotion where a fan had to roll the ball up the ramp and make it into a can to win money. The game resembled skeeball. With an assist from Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the fan won $5,000.

Max Barlow

Max Barlow is a Writer & Marketing Assistant for Best Sports Betting Canada. Max provides data driven articles for the blog which cover a range of topics include Sports, Business & Tech. Max has over a year's experience researching data stories & writing up a range of interviews which have been published in major news publications such as Daily Mail and Fox News.

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