Quandary ponders the mysteries of the ice device (column)
How can i win my $4,000 in the ice melt contest?
For those who don’t know, the Ice Melt contest is sponsored by the Summit Rotary Club and gives locals a chance to guess when the ice will melt on Lake Dillon. The date and time of the big melt is measured by a device strapped to a barrel and hauled Onto the lake by hovercraft. Once the device gets submerged the clock stops and we can find out who the big winner is.
Everybody has their own system to ensure victory, but ultimately Mother Nature makes the decisions on this one. One strategy is to look at when the ice melted in previous years. Last year the clock stopped ticking on May 7, and the year before it was on May 20. In most years since 1986, the contest was over by early to mid-May, but on rare occasions, like 2004 and 2002, the fun ended in late April. A list of the winning days and times is available on the Summit Rotary’s website at www.summitrotaryevents.com. You can also contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to get a breakdown of the winter temperatures and snowfall year by year, then carefully calculate the exact moment the ice will crack, or you could just guess your kid’s birthday.
When it comes to picking the time, it appears that the afternoon and evening are your most likely times, but last year’s 1:32:10 a.m. melt is a bit of an outlier (though locals will remember the controversy that surrounded that one). And, yes, you do have to guess down to the second, and many years the contest is close enough to need this tiebreaker. In reality, quantity might be your best bet. Buy a whole bunch of tickets and spread out your guesses or clump them to try and make sure your guess dominates a certain day or week. As long as you spend less than four grand, it still counts as winning, right?
Even if you don’t manage to get right on the numbers, have no fear; while first place is awarded $4,000, second place garners $2,000 and third takes home $1,000. So track down your favorite local Rotarian or visit the group’s website to get your chance at the bank, and remember the goat that got you there, unless of course you lose.
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