Kansas City, Mo., residents were singing the "Rubber Ducky" song en masse, thanks to American Century Investments.
More than 18,000 people gathered along the banks of Brush Creek in that city to cheer on 40,000 rubber duckies that set off from Wornall Bridge on a short but intense race to raise charity dollars.
Contestants bought ducks for $5 each. Prizes for the lucky holders of the fastest ducks included a three-year lease on a new Volkswagen Beetle; gift certificates to restaurants and stores; an opportunity to meet retired Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen, receive an autographed football helmet and watch the taping of his local television show; Kansas City Royals season baseball tickets for four; two round-trip tickets for two to any domestic destination to which Southwest Airlines flys; and airline tickets and concert passes for country-western music events in Atlanta, Denver or Dallas.
American Century's many Kansas City-based portfolio managers apparently were unlucky in their duck bets: None was among the prize winners.
The event, held in August and sponsored by American Century, raised $170,000 for the Midwest Bioethics Center, Research Mental Health Services and Kansas City Young Audiences. About 31,000 duckies in all were adopted Kansas City citizens and businesses.