Six ticket holders win Nenana Ice Classic

Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2002

NENANA (AP) -- Six Alaskans will split the $304,000 jackpot in the Nenana Ice Classic after the ice went out of the Tanana River at the Interior city Tuesday night.

The ice classic tripod tripped the clock at 10:27 p.m., but the winners had to pick the Alaska Standard Time of 9:27 p.m.

''A whole sheet went out at one time and the tripod was on that,'' said Cherrie Forness, ice classic director.

Jerry and Linda Sieracki of Anchorage and Mildred Stickman of Galena are among the winning ticket holders. The other four winners did not want their names released. Forness said three of the others are from Anchorage and another is from Nenana.

''It's been 10 years since anyone won from Nenana,'' she said.

In many years, winning tickets are submitted by people who pool guesses for a better chance. This year, all winning guesses were submitted by individuals.

''Each ticket is worth $50,666.67,'' Forness said.

Winning guesses will be revealed in the book of guesses that will be distributed to retail outlets that sold tickets, Forness said.

The 86-year-old ice classic is Alaska's oldest and richest guessing game.

Each year, thousands of Alaskans pay $2 per guess to try and peg the time to the minute when the tripod set up on the Tanana River will wash away.

The tripod is connected to a clock in the watchtower by a tripwire, which stops the clock once the tripod moves 100 feet.

The tradition started in 1917 after bored railroad workers began betting when the ice would go out and they could return to work.

Money earned from ticket sales goes to charities after the jackpot and expenses are paid out.

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