Idaho resident Jack Mills (second from right) poses with his winning 240-pound halibut along with the rest of the crew in Homer, Alaska. Mills won the 2017 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, and a prize for $15,241.10. (Photo courtesy Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center)

Idaho resident wins Jackpot Halibut Derby

A lucky Idaho resident is walking away with this year’s Jackpot Halibut Derby top prize.

Sam Mills, of St. Maries, caught the winning halibut which weighed in at 240 pounds, according to a release from the Homer Chamber of Commerce. He caught the monster while on board the Nautilus II of Alaska Coastal Marine, with help from Captain Chris Andrews. Mills received a $15, 241 prize. Rosanna Hunting from Central Charters sold the winning derby ticket, and was therefore awarded $1,000.

Mills and his wife, Katrina, came back to Homer to attend the awards ceremony.

According to the release, there were 10,482 tickets sold this year, including 173 youth tickets. Sponsors and volunteer tagged and released more than 75 halibut in early spring in preparation for this year’s season, and the tagged fish were valued at $250, $500 and $1,000. Three people caught 2017 tagged fish this year, one person caught a 2016 fish and two more caught fish from 2015, according to the release.

No one caught the $10,000 Homer Chamber of Commerce or $50,000 GCI tagged fish. Central Charters and Sportsman Supply each won $250 for selling the most derby tickets.

— Staff Report

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