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Clock stops in Nenana Ice Classic guessing game

The Nenana Ice Classic tripod on the Tanana River on Tuesday. (Screengrab from Nenana Ice Classic website/Borealis Broadband)

The Nenana Ice Classic's iconic tripod tripped its timer at 1:18 p.m. May 1, ending Interior Alaska's annual guessing game for this year's breakup season.

This year's jackpot is $225,000, according to the Ice Classic website.

People entering the contest try to guess the exact minute the tripod will travel 100 feet downstream in the Tanana River during spring as the ice melts and open water returns. Each guess costs $2.50. If there are multiple winners, the jackpot is divided among them.

The classic runs on Alaska Standard Time, which is one hour behind Alaska Daylight Time. So although the timer pulled at 2:18 p.m., the winning time is 1:18 p.m.

A screenshot of the Nenana Ice Classic’s Facebook Live video where the organization caught the moment the clock stopped at 1:18 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on May 1, 2018. (Nenana Ice Classic)

On Monday, the tripod tipped, activating the siren but stopping short of tripping the timer, the organization said on its Facebook page.

"Oh my word!" the post said.

On Tuesday afternoon the tripod collapsed but, held in place by river ice, did not move downstream. Hundreds of people watched the Ice Classic's Facebook Live video broadcast, waiting for the moment the clock stopped.

In 2017, the tripod went out at exactly noon May 1 Alaska Standard Time.

Over the contest's history, the tripod has gone out as early as April 20 and as late as May 20.

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