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The Globe and Mail

Alabama man throws perfect (virtual) game; wins $1 million

A 24-year-old from Alabama has won $1-million for being the first video gamer to pitch a perfect game in "Major League Baseball 2K10."

"It was actually my wife who convinced me to go for it," Wade McGilberry of Semmes, Ala., said in a statement. "I never thought I'd actually win a million dollars playing a video game. it's all still sinking in for me."

McGilberry threw a perfect game on the first day of the competition organized by game publisher 2K Sports.

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McGilberry rode the arm of Atlanta right-hander Kenshin Kawakami against the New York Mets.

The Braves may be contacting McGilberry for his input - their sophomore Japanese hurler is 0-5 this season. Kawakami has faced elite pitching opposition, however, and the Braves, 11-15 going into play Wednesday, aren't exactly on a roll.

McGilberry gets his million in a one-off, lump-sum cheque from 2K Sports, which dug into its own pocket for the prize.

"That was part of the fun for us," Jason Argent, vice-president of marketing for 2K Sports, said in an interview Wednesday.

"It was probably uninsurable anyway. . . . We kept saying if we're going to do something, we're going to do it all the way."

McGilberry works as reconciliation specialist for a 401(k) retirement savings plan records company in Alabama.

Argent's company had seen past Internet reports of gamers throwing a perfect game but had never confirmed that anyone who had done it.

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Despite being $1 million poorer, 2K Sports is "thrilled" with the promotion and is already dreaming up its next contest, possibly for NBA 2K11, Argent said.

The "Perfect Game" competition ran from March 2 through May 1 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers.

Gamers had to play in MLB Today mode, select from available matchups, and choose the option to participate in the MLB 2K10 contest which automatically defaulted to the proper game play settings as defined by the official contest rules.

Entries had to be recorded via camera or digital video recorder in compliance and entered via DVD.

The game publisher partnered with Twin Galaxies International, which tracks video game records, in deciding the winner.

Argent said there were some 30 entries.

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