When T.J. Schrum rolled a 275 and a 299 in his first two games in the Tuesday Night Swing Shift League at Hanover Bowling Centre, he was confident he would finish with an 800 series.
Any time a bowler registers an 800 series, it’s a memorable night. But, there was more at stake this night. Schrum, a 30-year-old right-hander, also had a chance to collect the Strike Jackpot of $2,000.
The York County bowler needed strikes in the first, fifth and eighth frames, as well as all three in the 10th frame of the third game. To win the jackpot, a high-average bowler such as Schrum (who averages 230) must roll strikes in 14 designated frames across three games.
The jackpot accumulates every week that someone doesn’t hit it. Bowlers pay $1 a week to participate. Rolling strikes in the designated frames isn’t as easy as it may sound.
Going into the third game, the odds looked good for Schrum. After all, he had only missed striking twice in the first two games — the seventh frame in the first game and the last ball in the second game.
Schrum had registered strikes in the eight designated frames of the first two games.
“I have made it through the first two games before, but never through the third,” he said.
The Hanover resident’s thoughts turned to breaking the Strike Jackpot, instead of his final score.
“After getting the strike in the eighth I started to think seriously about the jackpot. I only needed three strikes in the 10th,” said Schrum, whose previous high series was an 835.
“I was definitely nervous when I stepped to the line in the 10th frame. After the first two strikes, my left leg started shaking. That’s the most pressure I have ever felt on one shot,” he said.
Schrum told himself: “It’s a strike or nothing.”
He tried to overcome his nervousness to no avail. He released his ball and he said the last shot “crushed it.”
“I let out a yell and threw my hands in the air,” he said. “It was an incredibly fantastic way to end the evening,” said Schrum, who finished with a 279 game, a career-high 853 series and $2,000.
Schrum said he never dreamed of winning that much money. When asked what he was going to do with the money, he said, “Nothing exciting. We are going to use it to pay the tax bill on the new house we just built.”
This story was provided through the York County Bowling Proprietors Association.