Appeals court strips angler of $2.8M fishing contest prize

tís the $2.8 million that got away.

An appeals court has ruled that the winner of a 2016 Maryland billfish tournament is ineligible to collect his $2.8 million winnings after being accused of dropping his line early and then flunking a polygraph test, according to reports.

The US Court of Special Appeals on Wednesday upheld an earlier ruling in favor of the White Marlin Open in its case against the angler, Phil Heasley, and his crewmates aboard the Kallianassa, reported Delmarva Now.

Heasley of Florida was on course to net the whale of a purse after hauling in a 76.5-pound white marlin in the tourneyís 2016 installment but failed the lie detector test required of all winners.

Among the fish tales Heasley was caught in was his insistence that he didnít cast off before 8:30 a.m., the official start time of the Ocean City, Maryland-based tournament, according to Delmarva Now.

The claim didnít hold water when Heasley went through the mandated polygraph test.

The $2.8 million ó the sum of a $15,000 prize for the tourney itself and the payout of an optional bet Heasley placed on himself and his crew ó is expected to be divided among other anglers who participated in the 2016 White Marlin Open.

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