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Cow makes way for bingo winner

October 12, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

Have you ever paid money for something then sat fervently hoping a cow would wander by and poop on it? If not, then you haven't participated in cow-pie bingo.

Boonsboro Athletic Boosters Inc. sold more than 1,400 cow-pie bingo tickets at $10 each for a chance to win $5,000 at its fund-raiser Saturday, Oct. 9. Each ticket was randomly assigned one of 5,000 gridded squares on the football field at Boonsboro High School stadium. Then more than 400 people watched a cow mark the lucky spot.

Around 5 p.m., ticket-holders began gathering at the field along with family and friends, eagerly checking a posted chart identifying the field location of their ticket numbers. Attendees bided their time until 6 p.m. - when the chosen cow was scheduled to take the field - eating Carolina-style barbeque sandwiches and drinking soft drinks at the concession stand.

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Meanwhile, the star of the evening, Kornerstone Blackcap B106, a registered Black Angus female show cow from Boonsboro, stood unknowingly at the corner of the field along with her calf, Kornerstone Blackcap 4126, who goes by Taffy. Kevin Barkdoll of Boonsboro, who co-owns the cows along with his brother, Jason Barkdoll, said he didn't know if Kornerstone understood the gravity of what she was about to do.

Just before 6 p.m., the voice of announcer and chairman of the event, Wade Moore, 50, of Boonsboro, blared across the field.

"We'll be waiting for MOOOvement," Moore explained. "Five thousand dollars could go to whoever owns the spot at that cow's rear end."

Moore explained that while Taffy the calf would enter the field along with her mother, her bowel movements were not of consequence.

Moore said that until the big prize-winning moment, for each minute the cow stood still in one spot, the owner of that spot would receive $10.

When the clock struck 6 p.m., a cowbell rang, and Barkdoll led the cows to the field. Kornerstone headed for the end of the field opposite her point of entrance, then stood still for a full minute, earning money for one ticket-holder. The hushed crowd watched intently.

Moore said Kornerstone had no special food or preparation to affect her output.

"She is allowed to just walk," he said. "Sooner or later that cow's gonna go."

At just 25 minutes in, Kornerstone marked the winning spot.

"We have a MOOOvement," Moore verified.

Event organizers scrambled to identify the number of the square. For the first time in three years of the Boonsboro Athletic Boosters Inc. bingo, the ticket number of the designated square had not been sold.

The $5,000 prize would be split, half going to the booster club and the other half divided among the owners of the adjoining squares. Ron Garling, Kay Rosenthal, Denise Wissinger, Pam Lyons, Brent Spithaler and Selena Eichelberger were awarded $417 each. Five owners of ticket numbers a surrounding block beyond those winners received $100 each.

Selena Eichelberger, 42, of Sharpsburg, had picked up two tickets earlier in the day at Boonsboro High School's homecoming football game.

Her son, Brian, is a senior at Boonsboro High School and her daughter, Katelyn, attends Boonsboro Middle School.

Brent Spithaler, 29, said he and his wife, Sherry, a teacher at Boonsboro Middle School, just moved to Hagerstown two weeks ago. Until then, he said he never had heard of cow-pie bingo.

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