When a 1989 Ford minivan fell through the Lake Michigan ice near the Manitowoc Marina at 5:19 a.m. Feb. 28, Joe DiRaimondo became $1,000 richer.

The van was placed on the ice Jan. 30 as a “Car on Ice” fundraiser for Manitowoc County Rotary clubs. The challenge was for fundraiser participants to guess what time and what day the car would fall through the ice. The van lasted 30 days on top of the ice, before warm weather caused it to drop through. The clubs said 295 people made 624 guesses in the contest. In fact, there were 18 submissions by 13 different people for Feb. 28. However, DiRaimondo’s predicted time of 4:01 a.m. was closest to the actual time of 5:19 a.m.

DiRaimondo said he is donating his winnings to the Capitol Civic Centre’s Act Two campaign. “This helps them be able to continue with renovations

to prepare for the Capitol’s second century,” he said.

Two second-place prizes were awarded, one drawn from the 18 submissions that selected Feb. 28 as the day the van fell through the ice and the other drawn from all entries.

Winning the prize for picking the proper day was Lisa Nelson, who twice guessed Feb. 28. Winning the random drawing of all entries was Robert Gahl, whose date guess of 3:15 p.m. March 15 wasn’t even close.

The two second-place prizes are a Bahamas cruise for two valued at $630.

For photos of the fundraiser from beginning to end, check out the website CarOnIce .com, or visit facebook .com/CarOnIce Manitowoc.

Rotary Clubs of Manitowoc County support multiple nonprofits and other charitable causes.

The car used in the fundraiser was stripped of all possible contaminants or pollutants