"I picked April 16th because it's been kinda warm and it's my nephew's birthday," said Anne Poitras of West Danville.
That's the date that Poitras hopes the ice goes out on Joe's Pond -- her father has bought the Ice Out tickets for years. "He always buys them; Like a ticket for everyone in the family, so I just had to keep the tradition going and get a ticket and hopefully guess the right day," Poitras said.
The contest started in 1988. People buy a ticket for a dollar, then make a guess when the ice will give way. A clock is tethered to a cement block and palette lying on the ice. When it goes down, the clock stops, and this is the official ice out time.
The original clock lost its second hand, so this year there's a new, weatherproof clock. The clock set-up used to be located within the pond's fishing area. This meant it couldn't be placed on the water near the end of ice fishing season. To avoid this problem, it's been moved up the pond.
"It stays out of the traffic of the fisherman too, so we don't risk the line being cut by snowmobiles, trucks, or shanty's or anything," said Ice Out Committee member Diane Rossi.
When the contest first started, only a few hundred tickets were sold. In more recent years the number has topped 10,000. The winner of the contest takes home half of the pot. Last year that was more than $5,000. Officials are hoping for similar numbers this year.
Anne Poitras already knows what she would do with the money. "Probably some place warm where I don't have to worry about ice," she said.
With so much money involved, a new camera monitors the ice out clock 24/7. "It's a security, it's got a DVR that will record motion around it," Rossi said.
This year at least 5000 tickets have already been counted, and the final number is estimated to be around 9 to 11-thousand.
In past year's you could only pay for tickets at various Vermont retail stores. But this year you can purchase them online. "The thing about buying them online though is that you have to buy 10," said Ice Out Committee Member Fred Brown.
Tickets remain on sale through April 1st.
The money left over after the winner gets paid goes towards the Fourth of July fireworks on Joe's Pond.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself. Claremont police tell us that the man was cleaning his gun Saturday night when it went off. He was taken to the hospitalMore >>
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
If you're ready to see one more beautiful thing before we say hello to spring, then we've found the spot for you.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>