Muskoka. Friday, March 29, 2002.
The Muskoka Lakes Ice Lottery was an annual event. Every spring, a vehicle was parked on the ice in the center of Cox Bay, a three kilometer long and one kilometer wide body of water forming the south end of Lake Joseph. A functioning electric clock was placed inside the vehicle. Everyone who participated in the lottery knew that the clock’s electrical supply would short and the clock would stop when the vehicle sank as a result of the melting ice, so they placed their bets. The Lottery winner was the individual who correctly, or most closely guessed the day, hour, minute, and second the clock stopped.
Hubert Crowther, the Lottery’s founder and annual coordinator, paced up and down the rows of wrecked and deposed cars and trucks in the Bala Junkyard, a chain-linked hectare on the east side of Highway 169, a kilometer north of Bala. He stopped when he saw a green Ford pick-up truck. “Perfect,” he said, certain he had found the ideal vehicle for the 2002 Lottery.
He purchased the truck, hoisted it onto his flat-bed, then drove it to the driveway of his Port Sandfield home. Port Sandfield was a small village on an isthmus of land separating Lake Joseph from Lake Rosseau. He planned to park the green truck on the ice the following day. A Saturday kick-off always maximized the Lottery’s exposure. He stepped down from the cab of his flat-bed, then climbed up to examine his prize. He entered via the Ford’s passenger side door and sat in the cab to scan its interior. Curiosity prompted him to open the glove compartment. Pushing its button failed, so he banged it with his fist. The door opened exposing a letter. He removed the letter and saw that it was stamped and addressed to Kerri King in New York. The return addressee was Steve Monteith, Port Carling, Ontario.
The following day, he deposited the green Ford on the ice in the middle of Cox Bay, then drove to the Port Sandfield post office and mailed the letter.