Rubber Ducky Derby winners claim prizes

Photo by Brett Dunlap Superior Toyota Hyundai Manager Tommy Hathaway presents the keys to a new 2018 Hyundai Accent SE Wednesday to the Parkersburg Homecoming Rubber Ducky Derby Grand Prize Winner Jamie Riblett as her fiance Josh Rollins and Superior Owner T.R. Hathaway look on.

PARKERSBURG — Winners of the Rubber Ducky Derby were able to claim their prizes Wednesday at Superior Toyota Hyundai in Parkersburg.

The Parkersburg Homecoming Rubber Ducky Derby was held last Sunday evening.

In the weeks leading up to the festival, tickets were sold at locations around town as well as throughout the festival. Each ticket corresponds to a rubber ducky.

Around 6,800 rubber duckies were dropped into the Ohio River Sunday evening and had to travel a short distance downriver to a waiting boat. The first 10 to reach the boat were awarded prizes.

The Grand Prize Winner, Jamie Riblett of Parkersburg, received a 2018 Hyundai Accent SE from Superior Toyota Hyundai.

Riblett said she usually never bought a ticket in the past, not believing she would ever win. She bought five tickets while down at the Homecoming Festival on Sunday, a few hours before the drop occurred.

”I’m usually pretty thrifty, but I had a feeling that I was going to win,” she said. ”I just did it. It was a surprise and a shock. I am super excited about it. My kids are super excited about it.”

Her son was with her when she was contacted about winning the grand prize.

”We were jumping up and down in our kitchen,” Riblett said.

She said that she has been needing a new car.

”With kids, it is nice to have a newer and safer car to depend on,” Riblett said.

She was grateful to Superior Toyota and the Parkersburg Homecoming Committee for the prize.

”Thank you and thank you for the winning ticket,” Riblett said.

Rubber Ducky Chairman Woody Miller said the derby was a huge success for this year’s Homecoming Festival.

”It is all about the community,” he said.

He was happy with the way people came out and supported the event, both in buying tickets and the people who made it a point to come down and watch the derby.

”I can’t say enough about the crowds we had down there,” Miller said. ”People came down to watch the duck drop. To have 6,800 ducks get dropped in the river it is pretty cool.”

Other winners included second-place winner Richard Mayhew who won $1,500, 3rd-Tamarah Poling who won $500, 4th-Mike Pauley who won $250, 5th-Beth Deem who won $125, 6th-Vickie Radabaugh who won $100, 7th-Linda Fulmer who won $100, 8th- Velma Beha who won $100, 9th-Michelle Jones who won $100 and 10th- Chris Cox who won $100.

Beha of Parkersburg said it was her daughter who bought her ticket at the festival. It was one of the last tickets sold before the derby was held.

She is planning to give it to her four grandchildren this Christmas.

”I couldn’t believe it when they called me and told me I won,” she said.

Pauley bought his ticket at the Piggly Wiggly store on 13th Street a couple of weeks ago.

He has no real plans for it yet.

Pauley said he regularly buys tickets for the derby, but this is the first time he won something.

”When I bought them, I just stuck them on a shelf and forgot about them,” he said. ”I never won anything.”

However, when Homecoming officials were trying to contact him earlier this week, he realized he won something.

He said he is planning to keep buying tickets for the Derby at future Homecoming festivals.

”It is like the lottery,” Pauley said. ”You can’t win if you don’t play.”