"My eyes were wide," Wann said of the June 14 catch. "Once it got up, everybody started freaking out, saying, ‘Holy smokes!’ Everybody was so excited."

But as the exhausted and elated teammates steamed back to shore — certain that their catch would win the grand prize of nearly $1 million in the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament — they began checking to make sure the paperwork was in order. Wann’s heart sank when he read the rule book. He thought the entire boat was licensed to compete. Turns out, all individuals had to have a valid state fishing license. Even Wann, the hired first mate.

Fishing license dispute costs Virginia team $1 million prize in Outer Banks Big Rock Blue Marlin contest

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