Fairbanks Man Sole Winner of Ice Classic Jackpot
Winner is Tom Waters
ALASKA - A Fairbanks man is the sole winner of the record $350,000 jackpot in this year’s Nenana Ice Classic.
Organizers of the Nenana Ice Classic said Tom Waters of Fairbanks is the only person this year to guess that a tripod set up on the Tanana River would tip over and stop the official clock at 7:39 p.m. April 23.
Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness says $252,000 will go to Waters after federal taxes.
This is the third time the Fairbanks man has won the Nenana Ice Classic. He considers it his "hobby."
The Tanana River ice at Nenana went out more than a week ago — at 7:39 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on April 23 — but workers didn’t finish sorting the more than 220,000 guesses that were submitted until late Monday night, Forness said.
This year’s jackpot was the biggest in the 96-year history of the Ice Classic, a springtime tradition in Alaska since 1917.
This year’s breakup was the fourth-earliest on record and nearly caught organizers by surprise. The clock was hooked up to the tripod only three days before the ice went out.
Typically there are several winners but the early timing of this year’s breakup resulted in a winner-take-all affair.
Walters said he plans to use the money for a vacation and a new car.
Last year, 22 winners split a jackpot of $338,062 when the ice went out at 4:24 p.m. on May 4.
Contact Fairbanks Daily News-Miner staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.