Mike Mitchell has a bit of swagger in his step today, having successfully raised $6,000 in less than two days for the 2nd annual Snowking International Snow Carving Competition.
As principal organizer of the event, Mitchell had a dilemma. Teams from Alaska, Argentina, USA/Mexico and Canada were lined up to carve at the castle Feb. 29-March 4th, hot off their competition at the Sourdough Rendezvous Festival in Whitehorse.
But their promised $6,000 in prize money had not yet materialized.
Instead of hitting up local businesses “yet again,” Mitchell and volunteers Ice Crackly (Jeff Dineley), Mr. Freeze (Stephan Folkers), and Shiverin’ Sheila (Sheila Bassi-Kellett) set up The King’s Ransom Lottery. They offered 60 tickets at $100 per ticket, and broadcast it to a few hundred email addresses of friends and acquaintances late Wednesday evening.
By this afternoon, they’d sold out.
“An anonymous donation of a thousand dollars in January made the lottery possible,” says Mitchell. “We thought we could leverage that as prize money.”
The lucky first-prize winner of The King’s Ransom will take home $1,000. Second place is dinner for two at The Woodyard, and third prize is a Sapsucker Birch Syrup sampler pack valued at $75. There will also be lots of Snowking swag given out and every lottery ticket includes a festival seasons pass, worth $30.
One local business owner who bought a ticket, but doesn’t wish to be named, says he loved the lottery because he could support the Snowking Winter Festival, not get hit up as a business, get a chance to win stuff, and get the season pass.
Mitchell jokes that he is thinking of becoming a professional fundraiser.
The twenty-first festival opens at the Snowcastle in Old Town’s Yellowknife Bay on Tuesday, March 1st at 12:15 p.m., and closes March 27th. For a full schedule of events, check here.