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Mystery Hockey Fan: I Don't Want Your $19K

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh gets his winnings
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2018 3:20 PM CST
Fans react to seeing members of the Washington Capitals hockey team on stage during the Stanley Cup victory celebration on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, June 12, 2018.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – A Washington Capitals fan managed to donate over $19,000 to people in need and teach his son a lesson about hatred at the same time, the Washington Post reports. The fan—who chooses to remain anonymous—was leaving a Capitals-Penguins game with his son Wednesday at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, when he checked his ticket and realized he'd won the team's 50/50 raffle, which gives half the prize to the winner and half to a worthy cause. This year's cause: shooting victims at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed 11 people and wounded six others in October. So the season-ticket holder told Capitals staff he didn't want to keep his half—the entire $38,570 should go to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

"It's a check I could never cut myself," he tells ESPN. "But I walked out of that arena $100 poorer, yet infinitely richer in spirit, knowing that we had helped some folks that needed help." The fan, who is not Jewish, also saw it as "an opportunity to talk through things" with his son. "We talked a lot about hate and the fact that there’s no room for hate in the world," he says. "These people were shot simply because of where they worship and the fact that they might have been helping someone else. My family feels very strongly about this." The Pittsburgh Penguins added another $348,705 in donations to the Federation and tipped their cap to the Capitals' fundraising with a tweet: "Some things are bigger than hockey." (A Jewish nurse treated the synagogue shooter, saying "he's a very lost guy.")

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