David Moya
David Moya of Oakdale, Calif., poses with the Laker Girls after winning $95,000 by hitting the MGM Grand Big Shot Jackpot.
(Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)

Fan Wins $95,000 on Halfcourt Shot

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

“Mom doesn’t believe you!”

As David Moya walked off the Staples Center floor with a giant check in both hands, his fifth-grade son, Christian, hollered his wife’s disbelief from the stands.

Moya himself admitted it was “a little unbelievable,” but he had indeed just won $95,000 by connecting on a halfcourt heave to win the MGM Grand Big Shot Jackpot at Sunday’s Lakers game.

A competitive power lifter from Oakdale, Calif., Moya originally wanted his son to take the shot in between the third and fourth quarters, but luckily for both, Dad got to show Christian — and the other 18,995 in attendance — how to come up big.

When the father and son walked into the arena before the Lakers’ rout over the Phoenix Suns, Moya signed up knowing the odds were in favor of a miss.

“I didn’t think I had a shot, really,” Moya said “So I just went out there and threw it up.”

Turquoise hightop Kobe 9 sneakers on his feet, Moya simply let it fly.

At first, even Christian thought his father had thrown up an airball. But after the ball found its way through with no rim or backboard necessary, Moya threw his arms up in the air in celebration and revealed the throwback Ron Artest jersey underneath his MGM Grand contest shirt.

Soon after, the Lakers themselves took notice of what happened, and Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young rushed over to congratulate Moya.

“I heard about it from the crowd,” Larry Nance Jr. said. “I saw my teammates run over. … To see somebody make it was pretty fun.”

Moya’s phone battery died during the game, but Christian was able to relay the reaction from family back home.”

“They’re crying and freaking out,” he said.

Moya says he’d like to put the money toward a Toyota Land Cruiser, but he’s got to check with his wife on that.

Still, the Northern California native — who credited the shot to just playing hoops with his son and daughter — also has something special in mind for the family: returning to Staples Center for Kobe Bryant’s last game.

“My grandfather that passed away a few years back was a Lakers fan and introduced me to the Lakers,” Moya said. “My father’s a Laker fan on the other side of my family. We have some Phoenix Suns fans in my family that I’m not too happy about, so maybe this’ll be something to rub in their faces tonight.”

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