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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about our cause and how the duck race works.
Make a contribution:
Adopt a Duck Now!

How do my ducks get in the water?

Let’s Tag! A week prior to the Merryman House PaDucky Derby, volunteers will place numbered tags on the bottom of every duck that will race! The tags are waterproof labels beginning with a 7 digit number and ending with a 7 digit number.

For Example:

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a duck, whether online, in the mail or in person is entered into what we call E-Quack, a database that stores all of the information. Next to your name in E-Quack is the number of ducks you have adopted. The tag range is entered into E-Quack and all the numbers are shuffled up. Then, E-Quack automatically assigns the number of ducks you have adopted next to Tag Numbers. Thus, if you adopted 5 ducks, your name will be placed next to 5 different Tag Numbers.

What is my tag number?

Tag numbers are automatically and randomly assigned by computer. We want to make sure that no duck is taking steroids and the race is not fixed, so to ensure the integrity of the race, tag numbers are never given out. Rest assured, however, that all of the ducks you have adopted will be in the water.

What if you have 19,000 Adopted Ducks but you have 20,000 Tagged Ducks?

If all our ducks have not been adopted by Derby Day, it means that a lucky adopter can still adopt up to an hour prior to the Derby. Their names will be placed at random into the mix, next to a number that does not already have a name by it. Anyone can adopt until an hour before the race begins, as long as the Derby is not sold out.

What time is the Paducah Duck Race?

All kinds of family fun will start on Saturday, October 21 at 2 p.m. at the pond at Noble Park . The ducks will be launched into the water and begin racing at 3 p.m. The first duck through the finish line wins the race!

How will I know if my duck wins?

The Merryman House will contact you using the information you provided with your duck adoption. You do not need to be present to win.

Are they real ducks or rubber ducks?

Rubber ducks, silly!

Who can adopt a duck?

Anyone 18 or older!

Once I adopt a duck, do I get to keep it?

No. After you adopt your duck, The Merryman House will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for Derby Day. After the Derby, all of the ducks will fly off to their next race somewhere in the U.S.

Do I need to be present to win?

No, the winner does not need to be present to win. We do hope you will join us for the festivities though!

Is my duck adoption tax deductible?

Unfortunately, duck adoptions are not eligible for tax deduction. Please consult with your tax advisor.

Is there an admission fee for the PaDucky Derby?

No, the Derby is open to the public and is held at Noble Park, Paducah.

Can I adopt ducks on Duck Race Day?

If all of our 20,000 ducks have not been adopted as of Friday night, October 20, the remaining ducks will be available for adoption Saturday until one hour prior to the start of the race at a booth set up at Noble Park.

How do I contact someone at the Merryman House if I have questions or issues that are not answered here?

Please contact us by emailing or calling 270-443-6001.

Who does the PaDucky Derby benefit?

All proceeds from the PaDucky Derby benefit the Merryman House, a 501(c)(3) charity, a nonprofit organization which offers both residential and outreach services to meet the needs of victims of intimate partner abuse and their dependents as they strive to live free of violence. Please visit us at: and on Facebook at