A quack worth a million dollars

Third Annual Lucky Duck Derby to benefit Meals on Wheels


By Richard Zowie

Times Guardian Staff Writer


Want a chance to win a million dollars?

Specifically, $25,000 annually over 40 years?

The opportunity to become a millionaire without Regis Philbin's help lies in the popular Sesame Street song, "Rubber Ducky, you're the one."

On July 30 at 6 p.m., Comal County Senior Citizens' Foundation will host its 3rd Annual Lucky Duck Derby at Landa Park. At the derby, several thousand adopted rubber duckies will be dumped into the water to float down stream. The derby raises funds to help the foundation take care of costs for Meals on Wheels, which serves around 200-300 home-delivered, on-site meals daily for the elderly.

Last year's Lucky Duck Derby raised about $24,000 for the foundation. The foundation adopted out about 6,000 rubber duckies but hopes to raise more money and adopt out 4,000 more this year.

Once a person adopts a duck, they are given a receipt with the duck's individual number on it. This is what's used at the race's end to identify the winner.

Marie Dawson, who works at the foundation and serves as co-head duck along with Gerry Webb, described the process of dumping the ducks into the water as "fairly complex". The ducks are all dumped into the water at the same time, and they all then float down the river and are moved by the water flow.

While the rubber ducks float down toward the finish, which takes about 20 minutes, the crowd can entertained by the parties at the event and the live music.

To win a prize, a contestant's adopted duck must be one of the first three to finish by floating into a trap before all the other rubber duckies do so. First place is $5,000, second place is $750 and third is $250.

If 10,000 ducks are adopted out, there will be three opportunities to win a million dollars. Each duck has a number, and one duck per 3,333 adopted out will be randomly chosen as a potential million dollar duck. If at least 6,666 ducks are adopted, there will be two ducks potentially worth a million dollars. However, even if all three million-dollar ducks finish first, second and third, the only way a million dollars can be won is if the very first rubber duck to enter the trap and win the race has been randomly chosen as a million dollar rubber ducky.

"This tends to be a very interesting race," said Dawson. "In the first year, a real duck was in the river. It started pushing the rubber ducks around."

Ducks can be adopted out up to the minute before the race. For more information on how to adopt a rubber duck or about the race, stop by the Comal County Senior Citizens' Foundation at (830) 606-4547 or e-mail nbsenior@satx.rr.com.

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