Countdown begins for 100th Nenana Ice Classic

FAIRBANKS — A tripod has been erected on the Tanana River for the 100th time since Alaska began its most popular guessing game, the Nenana Ice Classic.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported the 26-foot tripod was raised Sunday. People have until April 5 to submit their guesses on the exact date and time the river will push the tripod downstream and stop a connected clock on shore.

Manager of the classic Cherrie Forness says there’s usually up to 290,000 guesses each year.

Last year, the ice went out on the Tanana River at 2:25 p.m. on April 24 (the game observes standard time, not daylight). Twenty-eight winners split the $330,000 jackpot.

The first Nenana Ice Classic in 1917 started when railroad workers bet on when ice would move on the river.

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