You read the title correctly! I am going to talk about rubber duckies, not as a toy but as a fund raiser! Alaska is a state that allows for creativity when it comes to fund raising.
Picture if you will a lovely river on a beautiful sunny day. There is a small dump truck filled with these small yellow ducks. Each duck has a number on it (the number is of a ticket that someone purchased). At the appointed, date and time, the dump truck pulls up the bridge. Traffic has been stopped and the truck positions itself near the side. When given the signal, a ton of these cute little yellow creatures fall into the river and rush down stream towards the finish line. The first duck across the line is the winner and the ticket holder is $10,000 richer.
What happens to the rest of the money? It goes to various charities.
The second neat fundraiser is called the Nenana Ice Classic. Picture a river that is frozen solid and has been solid for close to 5 months. Beginning in November, they sell tickets or chances where you get to guess the date and time the ice breaks up signalling true spring.
How do they know the ice actually broke? They set up a tripod that is rigged to fall over and pull a cable when the ice breaks. Sometimes the tripod falls over but it doesn't trip the counter. Enough people pay $2.50 per ticket to raise a ton of money.
This year, the tripod fell over mid afternoon on April 24th but it was a couple hours later that the tripod moved enough to trip the mechanism and there was a winner for.....Drum roll............ over $300,000 dollars. Yes you read that correctly, over $300,000. It could be there was one winner or several who would share the pot.