Imagine 30,000 rubber ducks racing down a part of the Assiniboine River. Doesn’t that quack you up?
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC) is hosting The Great Manitoba Duck Race Lottery on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. by the Portage Avenue footbridge in Assiniboine Park.
Participants can buy a minimum of one duck for $10 or a maximum of three ducks for $25 to race for a few hundred yards down the river.
"We don’t want the entire river, because ducks can get caught up in branches, so we will create a bit of a narrow course," Kevin Hunter, APC’s director of marketing and community engagement, said.
The first 13 ducks to reach the finish line will win $50,000 in prizes.
"The grand prize is $25,000 or a Jeep Wrangler. The second prize is a pair of Vespa scooters or $10,000. The third prize is a tropical vacation (to the Mayan Riviera) or $5,000. And we have 10 bonus prizes of $1,000 each," Hunter said.
Hunter realizes there are a lot of lotteries out there, so this one had to be enticing to the public.
"It’s all part of the budget," Hunter said. "We did a really good job putting together prize packs that would be of interest."
Funds raised from the race will help to pay for the $200-million redevelopment going on at the zoo.
There are 30,000 ducks available for purchase for the duck race. The deadline to purchase them is Sept. 4 at midnight, and there are several methods of purchasing them.
Those interested can apply electronically at manitobaduckrace.com
They can also call 204-943-DUCK. Printed forms can also be dropped off in several locations in the park.
Hunter said the APC purchased the ducks from a company in the states, which builds them specifically for racing.
"These are special ducks that absolutely will float. Waterproof stickers will go on them so we see the numbers associated with them (and their buyers)," Hunter explained.
With so many ducks going down the river at once, there’s sure to be a lot of interference and traffic.
"There’s a mechanism that segments them," Hunter said.
Because this race is a lottery, there are rules and regulations by which participants need to abide.
"Staff are not eligible to buy and you have to be 18 and older to buy," Hunter listed a couple of the rules. For a full list of rules, visit manitobaduckrace.com
The APC’s mascot for the duck race is Doug the Duck. Follow Doug on his many adventures at instagram.com/assiniboineparkzoo