Gov. Sean Parnell's announcement that eligible Alaskans will get a $1,305 dividend this year from the Alaska Permanent Fund prompted smiles and applause from a small group that gathered on a bracing autumn afternoon at Town Square in downtown Anchorage to witness what has become an annual ritual.
"Can I have the envelope please," the governor joked.
The payment - Alaskans' share of the state's oil income - is less than last year's $2,069, an all-time record, but still an impressive payout given the poor investment environment faced by the fund last year.
The dividend pot is based on a five-year average of fund earnings.
The previous high was $1,963.86 back in 2000.
"Don't spend it all in one place," Parnell cautioned, again with a smile.
Those who requested direct deposit will find the money in their bank accounts on Oct. 8. The rest will be mailed starting about a week later.
About 657,000 Alaskans applied for the dividend this year, according to Debbie Bitney, director of the Permanent Fund dividend Division. Roughly $850 million will be distributed.