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home : columns : rahn larson May 24, 2016

5/15/2013 11:43:00 AM
Cow chips anyone?
A story on page 2 of this week's Citizen gives readers a quick glimpse at something called "Cow Chip Bingo."
That wasn't a misprint, folks.
No, the cows do not play bingo, but this new Riverfest event does involve a cow. And, the cow does have, umm, "chips."
The setup for Cow Chip Bingo is relatively simple:
• First you build a pen and paint the ground with numbered squares. Now you have your "bingo card."
• Rather than selling the entire card, you sell each square to individuals. The Windom Lions Club is doing that as I write this piece.
• Once the squares are sold and pen is built, you add a cow to the bingo card.
• The cow's job is to leave it's "chip" on one of the squares.
That leaves us with an obvious question - what if the cow's chip lands on two squares?
"We thought of that," said Lions Club member Dan Jones. "What we'll do is have a three-man committee of judges.
"It will be a decision of the three judges as to which square has the majority of the pile. They'll have to get down and look at it closely to determine the winner."
The payout
If you think about it, that three-person committee has a big and odiferous responsibility.
After all, there's a pretty good chunk of money at stake.
Jones says the Lions Club intends to sell 1,000 squares at $10 apiece. The person owning the cow chip square is expected to receive $2,000.
In addition, there are four second-place winners. Those $125 will be determined by a drawing.
"If, in the one-hour allotted time, the cow doesn't do its duty, we'll award first place with a drawing as well," Jones said.
Cows & helicopters
I'm told the pen will be in operation from 2 to 3 p.m., north of the Community Center on the Sunday of Riverfest.
They put the bingo pen on the north side and the helicopter rides on the south side, because, as Jones pointed out, "Cows and helicopters don't mix."
Riverfest officials also told the helicopter driver to avoid the area during that 2 to 4 p.m. time slot. The driver told Windom Area Chamber of Commerce Director Damon Weinandt that this is the first time ever that his helicopter has been bumped by a cow.
"He's OK with it, though," Weinandt added with a chuckle.
The Cow Chip action
The thing I find interesting is that folks will stand around the pen, watching the cow.
Since 1,000 squares are being sold, Jones is confident that the crowd will hit 1,000-plus. He said the 32x32 pen will be surrounded by a second fence, for safety reasons.
Jones said several key decisions lie ahead, such as when to feed the cow, when to have it travel and other factors that could help it, umm, put its chips on the table.
Squares can be purchased from any Lions Club member, or at the Chamber office. For more details, see www.windomlions.org.

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