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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga loss will be a win for the hungry at N.C. food bank

In this Oct. 3, 2013, file photo, fishmonger Jaison Scott tosses a fresh salmon at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

OLYMPIA – A North Carolina food bank will put a Washington gambling debt to good use this month following Gonzaga’s heartbreaking loss Monday in the NCAA basketball championship game.

Gov. Jay Inslee made a bet with his North Carolina counterpart, Roy Cooper, on the outcome of the game, a press release from Inslee’s office said.

Had Gonzaga won, Cooper would have sent a package west with some barbecued pork from Sam Jones BBC in Winterville, North Carolina, a regional soft drink known as Cheerwine, and some sweet potato products. The Thurston County Food Bank would have accepted the winnings.

Instead, Inslee is on the hook for some Washington-roasted coffee, smoked salmon, a variety of Washington apples and some locally made chocolates. It will go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

“Coach (Mark) Few and this year’s team made history not just for Gonzaga but the entire Evergreen State,” said Inslee, who watched the game at the governor’s mansion.