It’s official: Idaho teen wins $16,731.50

At a Monday press conference, Jim Lavrakas announced the official results of the 2014 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby. Topping the list was the jackpot winner, 16-year-old Eagle Scout Jackson Hobbs of Franklin, Idaho. Hobbs will pocket a $16,731.50 check for the 335-pound halibut he caught Aug. 19 while fishing with Capt. Travis Larson of Alaska Premier Sportfishing.
Reached by Lavrakas via cell phone during the press conference, Hobbs was greeted by shouted cheers from those attending the press conference.
“So, my question to you is how many friends do you have now?” Lavrakas asked Hobbs.
“Everybody in the county of Franklin,” said a laughing Hobbs.
With a population of 12,786 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, that comes to a lot of friends for little more than $1.30 each.  
When asked by Lavrakas if he had plans to return to Homer, Hobbs said probably not next year, but “the year after that, hopefully.”
This is the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s 28th Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, the “longest running halibut competition with the largest total payout,” said Lavrakas.
Since the chamber-sponsored derby began, it has paid out more than $796,000 in jackpot prizes and an estimated total prize payout close to $900,000, said Lavrakas.
There were 13,463 tickets sold in this year’s derby. The jackpot prize includes $10,000 from the chamber and 50 cents for each ticket told. Hobb’s 335-pound halibut is the 12th largest in Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby history.
As captain of the prize-winning boat, Larson was awarded $1,673, equal to 10 percent of the jackpot prize.
Other prizes awarded at the Monday press conference included:
• $1,000 to Frances Needham for selling the derby ticket to the jackpot winner;
• $500 to Matt Hines of Minnetonka, Minn., winner of the May 15-June 14 released fish prize, sponsored by Kachemak (Napa) Auto Parks;
• $500 to Pamela Coe of Ellensburg, Wash., winner of the June 15-July 14 released fish prize, sponsored by Alaskan Suites, Homer Brewing Company, All Season’s Honda and Skidoo and South Peninsula Hospital;
• $500 to Brian Pendleton of Kirkwood, Mo., winner of the July 15-Aug. 14 released fish prize, sponsored by Coal Point Seafoods;
• $1,000 season’s end released fish to Scott Joyce of Seattle, sponsored by Coal Point;
• $250 tagged fish prize to Larry Patson of Bullhead City, Ariz., sponsored by Sea Lion Cove;
• $250 tagged fish prize to Mark Mehalko of Grand Blanc, Mich., sponsored by Best Western Bidarka;
• $250 tagged fish prize to Don Barney of Primeville, Ore., sponsored by Wild Rose Cottages;
• $500 tagged fish prize to Andrew Vander Plaat, prize sponsored by Tom and Debbie Stroozas of America’s Cuisine;
• $500 tagged fish prize to Troy Patak of Ennis, Texas, prize sponsored by Chuck and Janet Higley;
• $1,000 tagged fish prize to Jim Morgan, prize sponsored by Fish Connection;
• $1,000 tagged fish prize to Marie Burnes of Roswell, N.M., prize sponsored by Eagle Enterprises;
• $125 Kids Cash Prize to Austin Mischel of McMillan, Mich.;
• $150 Kids Cash Prize to Mallerie Nunn of Kenai;
• $200 Kids Cash Prize to Kyra Benner of Woodinville, Wash.;
• $250 Kids Cash Prize to Max Morehouse or Boise, Idaho;
• $300 Kids Cash Prize to Cy Dull of Kenai;
• $5,000 Just for the Halibut prize to Frank Heeks of St. Stephens Church, Va.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at

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