I'm gonna wager a guess that contest insurance wasn't purchased.
Seldom does it become a problem... I mean - the odds are highly unlikely. But when the odds suddenly don't make sense - huge problem.
Back in the early 2000's I worked on the professional staff at a local club, and one day we had a huge outing. There was like 250 participants. The outing coordinator was out hobnobbing with some of the VIPs who were participating in the event, and the unofficial rumor was that alcohol might've been involved... which, mind you, was a serious breach of employment policy, but nevertheless it wasn't investigated by the owner because he wasn't made aware, and if he wasn't made aware - how would he have known!
Anyway... the outing concluded, with exception of the putting contest that was scheduled immediately after the golf and just prior to the awards banquet. So we've got roughly 200 people standing around the practice green, most of which were intoxicated, observing the putting contest. It was an insanely difficult putt, with no fewer than three different contours that had to be figured from about 60 feet away. Of course, not a single one of the participants makes it. Party over, time to eat.
Er, not so fast. Or so said the outing director, who like I said was obviously caught up in one of those "I'm drunk, but I'm also cool, and I'm also a nice guy" moments. He instructed the outing coordinator to pick his best putter from the field of players, and then told him, "Here's what I'm willing to do - if he makes this putt - everyone who participated gets a free round of golf." The crowd erupts, suddenly the club's outing coordinator is the life of the party, "Oh, we're definitely coming back next year -how cool is this guy! Book it now, this has been great!"
So the outing organizer picks out a guy, and says, "here - he's the guy. Let him have his shot!"
You guessed it. The guy strokes the putt, and meandered over the slopes, perfect speed, making a beeline right for the cup. And it almost looks like it's short... it gets right to the edge, I mean right on the very edge, and just stops. And then everybody moans and swears. And two seconds later, it drops. We're talking pandemonium. People were high-fiving, laughing, celebrating their windfalls of a free round of golf!
Except for the club's outing director. He was pale, he was quiet, he wasn't celebrating anything. His "caught up in the moment, feel-good" decision cost our club roughly 12 grand.
After hearing about what happened the day prior, the owner was obviously livid... but he honored the contest, just out of principle. But the outing director was fired the following morning, two minutes after an utter ass-chewing. I can't repeat what was said, other than to say that guy came downstairs and shook my hand, saying, "Good luck, and just so you know - you're working for a worthless sonofabitch."
I still laugh when I think about the look on his face when that putt dropped on the practice green! LMFAO!