Franklin County Commissioner Bob Koch is one lucky duck.
He learned Monday that he won the Toyota given as the grand prize in the Mid-Columbia Duck Race — for the second time.
“It is unreal,” he said after checking his raffle ticket numbers Monday afternoon.
Koch won the top prize of a Toyota Camry from Toyota of Tri-Cities in 2009.
Never miss a local story.
Saturday one of his rubber ducks racing on the Columbia River again floated across the finish line first. This year the prize is a Toyota Prius Two.
Koch bought five tickets in 2009, and this year he bought just four of the $5 raffle tickets.
He buys the tickets to support the Rotarians and the good they do to benefit the area, he said.
He had an idea he might have won as a rumor spread on social media Saturday that a “Bob Koch” was the grand prize winner.
But he knows he’s not the only Robert or Bob Koch in the Mid-Columbia and he also wondered if the information was old, referring to his 2009 win.
In 2009 he got a phone call a few hours after the race.
But this year he was left to wonder until Monday. Organizers posted a message on the Mid-Columbia duck race web page saying that results needed to be verified and would be posted within 72 hours of the race.
“It’s been a long weekend with unknowns,” Koch said Monday.
The first thing he will need to do is write a check for taxes, he said. In 2009 he paid the IRS $5,000 before even discussing picking up his car.
That year he worked a deal to turn in the Toyota his wife, Connie, was already driving and combine it with the value of the Camry he won to come home with a new Avalon for his wife.
This year he’s hoping to make a deal to put the value of the Prius toward a Highlander, which he and his wife already had been looking at, he said.
He’ll be buying duck race tickets again next year, he said.
But he joked that “maybe I’ll put someone else’s name on the them.”
Dozens of prizes were awarded based on Saturday race results.
Colleen Drinkard won the Maytag kitchen appliance suite and Perfection Glass won a set of tires.
Dozens of other prizes included two Tri-City Americans season tickets to Mike Miller, an iPad Pro and Apple watch to Sondra Rader, a First Alert alarm system to Ed Ochoa and a diamond necklace to Sharon Dunn.
Winners will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on claiming their prizes. The full list of winners is posted at bit.ly/duckresults.
The six Tri-City-area Rotary clubs have raised more than $2 million for charitable causes, from scholarships to local charities like Grace Clinic, since they began holding rubber duck races on the Columbia River 28 years ago.