Monday 18 June 2018

This competition offers a cash prize for guessing when the car will fall through the ice

The winner gets $1,500.

Michigan residents are betting on when this car will fall through the ice (Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford/PA)
Michigan residents are betting on when this car will fall through the ice (Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford/PA)

By Grace Rahman, Press Association

Fancy playing the lottery but don’t like your odds, or the random nature of who might win? Well a small city in Michigan might have the competition for you.

All you need to do is guess when the ice will break on a now-flooded old iron mining pit, letting a 1998 Saturn sedan plunge into its icy depths.

The Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford’s car plunge contest is now in its fourth year.

Could this be the weekend she plunges???

Posted by Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford on Friday, March 31, 2017

The car was put on the pit last Saturday, and when it will fall will depend on local weather conditions, and how soon Spring comes to Iron Mountain.

Locals enter their guesses down to the minute, and a webcam watching the site at all times records when the Saturn finally falls in, so the winner can be decided and collect their $1,500 (£1,070) prize.

In past years the ice has finally succumbed to the car’s weight as late as April 4.

She plunged! It's gone! The webcam footage will be reviewed within the next few days to determine the official plunge time…stay tuned!

Posted by Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford on Sunday, April 2, 2017

And there’s no need to worry about the environment – the car is attached to a steel wire rope, which chains it to an anchor safely on land, so when it does fall in, it’s pulled right out again ready for next year.

The sedan has also been adapted by local mechanics students, so it won’t upset the lake.

It has no engine, battery, radiator or any other oils or fluids that could contaminate the water.

Posted by Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford on Monday, January 22, 2018

The East Chapin Pit was once one of the great iron reserves in the Upper Peninsula, before the Great Depression hit and it closed. The abandoned pit became a lake that easily freezes in Michigan sub zero temperatures.

And people first started putting cars on the ice and betting when they would fall through back in the 1940s.

If you want to try your chances in the modern environmentally friendly version of the game, three guess cost $10 (around £7) and all proceeds go to the rotary club’s local projects.

Press Association

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