FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two ticket collection cans for the Nenana Ice Classic were delayed in their delivery to the Interior town until after the ice went out. But classic managers were relieved to find that none of the guesses in the cans, received Tuesday, matched the winning time.
The cans, from Ketchikan, contained hundreds of entry forms from those trying to guess when the ice on the Tanana River would break up, marking the arrival of spring in Interior Alaska. The contest has been going for 84 years.
The ice went out on the Tanana River on Monday at 10:47 a.m.
''We knew they were never lost, we knew they were on their way,'' said Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness. ''One can was even Federal Expressed, and it still took two weeks.''
Forness said while it's unfortunate that the cans took so long to reach Nenana, it wasn't the first time. She said a can arrived late in 1998. That can also contained no winners.
''These things happen. Sometimes the mail in Alaska is a little slow and we just have to live with it,'' Forness said.
Contest rules state that the tickets have to be in Nenana before the ice goes out in order to be included in the contest. Ticket sales ended April 5.
This year's winners will each be mailed a check for about $18,000 on June 1.
All the winners were Alaska residents, with eight coming from the Fairbanks area. They are: Paul Rossow, John Seely, Maria Lamb, Delores Linzner, Barbara Bluekens, Denny Mehner, Tom Kubichek and Dave Wasson from North Pole.
Other winners from around the state were Joanne Emery, Desmond Duffy, Robert Lucason, the Jaa Voittaya group, Dietlef Didrickson, Dan Nicoll, Leroy Plum and second-time winner Debra Morris, all from Anchorage; Sandy Howard of Hoonah and Carolyn Pasquan of Juneau.
This year, 314,000 tickets were sold at $2 per ticket between Feb. 1 and April 5.
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