HAM LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) - Meet Lyla Becker, just 9 years old. She's the one who nailed the exact date and nearly the exact moment a popular stainless steel sculpture cracked through the ice of Ham Lake this winter.
Her winning guess: March 5 at 4 p.m. -- just 15 minutes off.
Her brilliant meteorological formula: March, because it’s the month she was born. The 5th, because mom's birthday is May 5. And 4 p.m., of course, because that’s the time her dad comes home from work.
"I would say she needs to start playing the lottery,” said Shana Schmitz of the Ham Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. “That's awesome she did it that way -- that it wasn't just a random guess."
For more than two weeks, organizers of Ham Lake's Snow Bowl Festival had been searching for the winner with the near spot-on prognostication. But Lyla's entry form had her first name misspelled and a jumbled phone number..
"I couldn't remember my mom or dad's phone number,” Lyla told Fox 9. “So I only did a little bit of it, then forgot all of it. I just wrote down some numbers."
On Wednesday evening, Fox 9 reported on the search for the mystery winner. Within minutes of our story airing, Lyla's neighbor recognized the name and the numerical jumble.
"When I saw it on TV, I was blown away,” Lyla said.
By Thursday morning, the 4th grader had her $500 winnings, and a plan. She’s going to spent it.
"I was going to go to Rue 21, Claire's and Justice,” Lyla said. “And then to Wal-Mart for a hoverboard."