CLOSE

Winners of This Small Town's Silly Rubber Duck Race Are Awarded a Serious Prize

Think you’re a lucky duck? On Saturday, May 7, you can put your good fortune to the test by competing in the annual “Ducky Wucky River Race” in Harvard, Massachusetts. The town’s contest may sound silly, but it offers the winner a serious prize: an all-expenses paid trip for two to anywhere in the world, complete with a fancy meal, the Boston Globe reports.

Each year, the Ayer Rotary Club—a philanthropic organization serving the Massachusetts communities of Ayer, Harvard, Shirley, and Devens—uses a construction vehicle to dump thousands of numbered ducks into the nearby Nashua River. The rubber birds float downstream along a lengthy course, and cross a finish line. In turn, people who purchase a single duck for $5.50, five for $21, or 13 for $42 are given tickets with numbers that corresponds to one of the toys.

If your duck wins the race, you and a loved one are treated to the vacation of a lifetime, complete with free airfare, a two-night stay at a hotel, and a feast. (Sadly, alcohol is no longer included, after a past winner reportedly spent too much money on French wine.)

“People have gone to some pretty amazing places. It really captures the imagination,” Jason Kauppi, a member of the Ayer Rotary Club, told the Boston Globe. Last year’s winner went to Venice; others have reportedly traveled to Paris, Tokyo, Dublin, Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa. Funds from the event are also donated to charity, or used for school books and scholarships.

Harvard residents have tried their luck with the “Ducky Wucky River Race” for more than 20 years. The event is part of the town’s annual Apple Blossom Festival, a day-long spring celebration with street vendors, food, and entertainment.

Interested in seeing if your good fortune is all it's quacked up to be? This year's Ducky Wucky River Race will be held a Still River Depot Road, Harvard, on May 7, at 4 p.m. Participants can purchase ducks online. Visit the event’s website for official contest rules—and make sure to check out some of the fantastic runner-up prizes donated by local organizations.

[h/t The Boston Globe]

Banner image courtesy of iStock.

Original image
NASA
arrow
Space
NASA Could Send Your Tweet Into Deep Space
Original image
NASA

The inventors of Twitter could never have imagined how their creation would change the world. The social media platform has become the stage upon which some of the most important dramas—and pettiest comedies—of the last few years have played out. And now it'll help beam one lucky person's message into interstellar space, thanks to NASA's #MessageToVoyager contest.

The Voyager 2 and Voyager 1 spacecrafts launched on August 20 and September 5, of 1977. The probes set sail in opposite directions, bound for the outer reaches of space, each bearing a golden record imprinted with messages of peace and welcome from Earth to whomever else the spacecraft might encounter along the way.

The decades since have seen years of astonishing firsts from the two little probes. Voyager 2 has cruised past and sent back images from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Just five years ago, Voyager 1 became the first craft to enter interstellar space.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the missions, NASA wants to give the people of Earth the opportunity to send a new message. The agency will transmit the single winning tweet into the area of deep space Voyager 1 now occupies.

To participate, compose a message of up to 60 characters. That includes letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation. Tag your submission with #MessageToVoyager and post it to Twitter by August 15. You can also share it on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, or Tumblr.

Representatives from NASA, JPL, and the Voyager team will narrow down the entries, and then hold a public vote for the winner.

For full contest rules, check out NASA's #MessageToVoyager website.

Original image
Airbnb
arrow
Space
You Could Be One of the First People to See the Upcoming Solar Eclipse With New Airbnb Contest
Original image
Airbnb

Airbnb is going to help two lucky people become some of the first in the nation to see the cross-continental total solar eclipse when it journeys across the U.S. on August 21. As Travel + Leisure reports, the company is holding a contest to send two guests on a deluxe eclipse-viewing mini-vacation in Oregon.

First, the winner and their guest will head to Bend, Oregon on August 20 to stay in a geodesic dome under the stars, looking up at the night sky from the observation deck with multiple telescopes, according to the press release. They’ll hang out and chat about the stars with with astrophysicist Jedidah Isler, who studies black holes, and learn how to shoot great nighttime photos with Babak Tafreshi, a National Geographic photographer.

An interior view of the Airbnb geodesic dome.
Airbnb

The next day, Isler will accompany the winners on a private jet for a two-hour flight over the Pacific Ocean. The plane will fly along the path of totality, potentially extending the amount of time the guests have to view the Moon completely covering the Sun by up to a minute compared to what people will see from the ground.

Even if you don’t win, plenty of people are trekking out to the path of totality, and you can probably find another place to crash. Airbnb estimates that it has around 3800 listed houses along the path of totality. (This one in Oregon is going for $10,000 a night that weekend.) But you might have more trouble finding a private plane to fly you to a viewing spot atop the clouds. The next total solar eclipse won't be visible from the U.S. until 2024, so this is your last chance for a while.

You have until August 10 to send Airbnb your best argument for why you should get to go on a great eclipse adventure.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios