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Hoop Dream Come True: Mom Makes Lucky Shot, Earns Half-Year Tuition

A Minnesota mom who nailed a basketball shot has earned thousands of dollars in tuition and the chance to raise awareness about families in need.

It's the shot seen around the Web.

A Minnesota mom who nailed a basketball shot at half-court has earned thousands of dollars in school tuition, social media fame, and — most importantly, she says — the chance to raise awareness about families in need of food assistance.

Angela Ramey, of Bloomington, threw the shot on Dec. 4 after a fundraiser at her 9-year-old daughter Grace's private school. The ball bounced just short of the basket, then shocked Ramey and the crowd when it sailed in after the bounce.

"I looked at the ball. I looked at the ground. I dribbled once. I closed my eyes and I said a quick prayer," Ramey told NBC News affiliate KARE in Minnesota.

Ramey's lucky bucket scored her a half-year of free tuition for Grace, worth roughly $4,000. But as someone who grew up in a house where food was scarce, the event was about so much more than that.

Earlier this month, Grace had won a competition at school by raising $1,200 for Kids Against Hunger, an organization that provides meals to local families. Using the money from the fundraiser, the entire school packed meals to dole out to Minnesota's neediest on Dec. 4.

Grace and Ramey were there as the school packed up about 41,000 meals. Afterward, Grace had the opportunity to cash in on her prize for raising the most money for the fundraiser: three throws at a half-court basketball shot to earn half of next year’s tuition.

Grace took the court, her mother by her side. At first, she was shy about making the shot, so she handed the basketball to her mother. Ramey made an attempt — and missed.

Grace took the second shot. No hoop.

When Ramey sank the third shot on the bounce, causing the crowd to erupt in cheers, both mother and daughter were in disbelief.

“I thought that I had hit the man from Kids Against Hunger,” Ramey told NBC News.

As the crowd quieted down, Ramey thanked the children for their hard work fundraising, and told them why it touched her personally.

“I wanted to tell them that service projects matter,” Ramey said. “I did not grow up in a well-off family. I understand food insecurity.”

The enthusiasm and determination that the students had for raising money to give families in need a meal was “overwhelming,” she added.

“[The project] brought me back to my childhood and what my mother went through to provide for me and my brother,” Ramey said. “Being able to [pack meals] that day was such a gift.”

Bruce Maeda, the head of school at Bethany Academy, said the Rameys have been “very humbled by this.”

He said the project "put meals right back into our community,” and said that the initial goal was to raise enough money to pack 30,000 meals.

Exceeding the goal sends a great message, he said.

“We are a small school in the suburbs. But if we can give hope and encouragement to others, that’s awesome,” Maeda said.