It’s that time of the year again … the iconic red cans are popping up all around Alaska; from your local Freddie’s to your favorite coffee shop! The Nenana Ice Classic is an annual competition in which you place bets on the exact minute the ice on the Tanana River near the community of Nenana will go out. It is the one state-wide gambling opportunity, so not exactly Vegas, but some say more befitting of the spirit of the last frontier 🙂
The Nenana Ice Classic began more than 100 years ago as a simple wager between employees working on the then-new Alaska Railroad. A bet between two men became an employee pool guessing game, then expanded rapidly to include others around the state who heard about the contest. Nowadays, the prize money split between winners regularly tops $300,000. Not too shabby. Guesses range from the scientific to the superstitious – if you fancy yourself an ice-whisperer, you may want to get in on this action.
Tickets can be purchased from February 1 – April 5 for $2.50. Details and more information at the official website. So keep your eye on the tripod and good luck!