Tanana ice breaks

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

NENANA - The ice broke on the Tanana River at 10:47 a.m. Alaska Standard Time Monday, rewarding lucky guessers with their share of a record $335,000 jackpot.

Contest officials notified winners Monday and expected to release the names within a few days. The Nenana Ice Classic is Alaska's oldest lottery. Contestants try to guess the correct day and time when the ice on the Tanana River will go out, signaling spring breakup in Interior Alaska.

The exact time of breakup is determined by a wooden tripod, wired to a clock, that's placed in the middle of the frozen river. When the ice breaks, the tripod travels downriver, tripping the clock to mark the official time.

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