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Fairbanksan wins $15,000 with luckiest rubber duck on Chena River

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Posted: Monday, July 25, 2011 11:25 pm | Updated: 1:15 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Talk about a lucky duck.

Jim Morton of Fairbanks bought both the $10 ticket and the $5 ticket in the Rubber Duckie race on No. 3042.

Lucky duck 3042, who appeared at the Chamber of Commerce board meeting Monday at noon, was the fastest yellow racer on the river Saturday.

That means that the duck is worth $15,000 in prize money to Morton.

Lisa Herbert, executive director of the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, is planning to arrange the transfer of an oversized check to mark the double win.

There are $5 tickets and $10 tickets on every duck.

Some people buy both tickets for the same duck, but it’s rare the winning tickets are held by the same person. At the most, this has happened only once before in the past 24 years, says Howard Thies, the duck kingpin.

All but 80 of the 12,000 available tickets were sold this year, which is one of the strongest showings in duck history.

Thies says much of the credit for the brisk sales goes to Herbert.

For most of the 32 winning ducks, there were different winners for the $5 ticket and the $10 ticket.

Chick Wallace bought both the $10 ticket and the $5 ticket for Duck No. 3112. Wallace won $150 and a gift certificate worth $175 from Springhill Suites on that duck’s performance.

Tammy K. won two tickets on Condor to Frankfurt, while Lynda Sather won two tickets on Alaska Airlines. Craig Compeau won $500 for buying the $10 ticket on No. 6516, which was the “wild duck” in the mix.

Cassandra Schaffer won a $900 Brooks Range trip from the Northern Alaska Tour Company and Dorothy Scull won a “Pizza of the Month” for a year from Sourdough Fuel, worth $300.

Some of the other winners include: Jessica Hunter, a $2,000 Fred Meyer shopping spree; Barbie Howard, a $900 camera donated by Fairbanks Fast Foto; Kyong Hollen, $500; Angela Ketzler, $250; Jeffrey Bowen, $200; Karen Kelly, $150; Daniel Ketzler, $100; Hector Villarruel, $100; Summer Seay, $250; M.J. Derendoff, $350; John Rice, $350; John Ruud, $200; Vicki Slay, $150.

Other prizes went to: Mel Denning, Raymond Herrera, Tony Mastriano, Sandra Mattison, Laura Wilson, Nancy Giolioitti, Marla Ohle, Ellis Ott, Jerry Krier, Michael Finch, Dan Parker, John Wing, Michelle Zernick, Thomas Miller, Allison Donovan, Sheila Williams, Nick Miyasato, Rowe Kozevnikoff, Rebekah Gilligan, Omar Nail, Sabrina Davis, Bill Stephens, Yvonne Esposito, Kim McMillan, Scott Murdock, Tonia Jones, Linda Dekranis, Eva Mitchell and Don Shannon.

(Some of the names were written on tickets in ways that were a challenge to decipher, so the spelling given here is, in some cases, a best guess at identification.)


GOLDEN DAYS AHEAD?: The chief executive of the mining company examining a huge gold prospect near Livengood says the project would work even if gold prices tumble from record levels of more than $1,600 now seen on the spot market.

James Komadina of International Tower Hill Mines tells the Reuters news service he expects the company to apply for permits in the next 12 months to plan a mine that would handle nearly 2,000 ounces of gold per day.

He envisions a large-scale mill operation, not a heap leach project. It could produce 650,000 ounces per year. By comparison, the Fort Knox mine near Cleary Summit produces about 350,000 ounces per year.

Komadina told the news service the company is moving toward a development phase and is not looking to sell to some other mining firm. Key studies on the potential cost and feasibility are due next month and by the end of this year, he said.

The company continues to do drilling work and other studies to pin down costs and the size of the resource base.

“I didn’t come in to sell this. I’m a producer and operator,” he said. “It is my full intention to build a mine here.”

“While most projects look good with gold at $1,600 an ounce, Komadina said with cash costs expected to be about $535 per ounce and total costs of around $650 per ounce, Livengood would be able to withstand lower prices too,” Reuters said.

Dermot Cole can be reached at or 459-7530.

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