Guessing game season: Tripod set on Tanana River

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The 2024 Nenana Ice Classic Tripod was placed on the Tanana River on Sunday at Nenana.

The Ice Classic is Alaska’s beloved guessing game. It started in Nenana in the winter of 1917, when a group of engineers surveying for the Alaska Railroad bet $800 in the pot with their guesses for when the river would break up. The tradition has continued for what will be the 107th year.

Tickets are $3 and must be purchased and turned in between Feb. 1 and April 5. The trick is to guess correctly the month, date, hour, and minute that the ice on the Tanana River will break up and the tripod will fall over. The tripod is connected by a cord to a clock, which will stop and reveal the winning time.

The ice is very thick on the river this year, at 44 inches on Feb. 24, which is about one inch thicker than normal, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In 2023, the ice went out at 4:01 p.m. on May 8. The $222,101 jackpot was shared by 10 winning tickets from people who had guessed that exact time.

Find out more from the Nenana Ice Classic website.

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