Nenana is a city located in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 402.
Residents of Nenana have sponsored a lottery, called the Nenana Ice Classic to pick the date when the ice covering the nearby Tanana River breaks, thus signalling the start of spring. This lottery began in 1917 when a group of surveyors working for the Alaska Engineering Commission whiled the time they spent waiting for the river to open, when boats with supplies could reach them, by forming a betting pool. Interest in the pool continued, and spread through Alaska. This lottery, open only to residents of Alaska, has paid out nearly $10 million in prize money.
Web Sites and Links
City-data.com: Nenana, AlaskaGeographic, community, and climate profile.
Nenana Ice ClassicLottery for guessing the minute of river breakup on the Tanana River. Photos, history, ticket sellers, previous winners and e-mail list.