Wednesday, April 30, 2008

UPDATE II: Nenana Ice Classic, Jackpot again tops $300,000

From the contest website:
The Nenana River went out in the late afternoon of April 28, 2008. The Tanana River is still frozen from bank to bank with no open water showing. The Tripod is still standing firmly in place.

The Nenana usually goes out a week before the Tanana. The breakup is now later than 29 of the 92 years the contest has been held.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

...Event organizers say this year's jackpot is $303,895. Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness said that's an increase of $623.

The Ice Classic, now in its 92nd year, is Alaska's version of a lottery. Thousands of people pay $2.50 a ticket to guess what date and time to the minute a tripod set up on the Tanana River ice at Nenana, 55 miles south of Fairbanks, will move downstream and trip a clock that is wired to shore.

Forness said judging from the looks of the ice, it will probably be another week before the tripod falls or moves.

Forness said ticket sales in Anchorage and Fairbanks appeared to be up. However, she said, vendors in the Bush didn't fare as well, probably because of the high price of fuel in rural areas.

"I noticed the village sales were down," Forness said. "I think that's where (the high price of fuel) hits the hardest."...

From the Fairbanks News-Miner (Apr. 25):

Nenana Ice Classic still far from crowning a winner

Nenana Ice Classic officials have taken the last ice measurement on the Tanana River at Nenana. Now it’s just a matter of time before the ice goes out.

The ice measured 40.5 inches Monday, the thickest measurement this late in the spring since 2002. Even with warm temperatures in the high 50s this week, there is no sign that the ice is rotting or weakening, Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness said.

“It’s just solid ice, bank to bank,” she said. “There are no (open) leads.”>>>MORE