Rim shot nets Orthodox Jew car, not $1 million

NEW YORK — The big money was in sight.

But despite donning a black yarmulke on the advice of his rabbi, a Cuban-born Orthodox Jew failed to win $1 million when he missed a 3-point shot Saturday at the National Basketball Association's All-Star Weekend in New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Saul Holcman of Queens, N.Y., a 5-foot-8-inch, 200-pound guidance counselor who is currently a stay-at-home dad, had qualified to take the shot by winning the Sony Minidisc Million Dollar Shooter contest, which involved scratching off a card at an electronic store.

Holcman's shot from 23 feet, 9 inches away, however, bounced off the rim.

Holcman and his wife, Robin, attend an Orthodox synagogue in the Forest Hills section of Queens, and their twin 6-year-old daughters attend a local Jewish academy.

Holcman said that despite missing the shot, "It was a wonderful experience.

"I'll never forget this for the rest of my life, and the memories are worth a million dollars," he said.

As a consolation prize, he did receive a car, some stereo equipment and $10,000.

The money, he says, will go for his daughters' education.