250,000 people now own a square-foot parcel of the six-acre island

Cards Against Humanity uses holiday stunt to buy Lake St. George’s ‘Birch Island’

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:00pm

    If anyone has ever played the un-politically correct party card game Cards Against Humanity, it’s essentially like Mad Libs for “horrible people.”

    On Dec. 21, the Chicago-based owners of the best-selling card game, (originally a group of high school friends) announced through The Chicago Tribune that their annual holiday fundraising stunt raised enough money to buy the six-acre Birch Island in Lake St. George for about $200,000.

    They raised the money by by offering to send 250,000 people 10 mystery packages in exchange for $15. So now, in actuality, the island, now renamed “Hawaii 2,” belongs to 250,000 people all around the U.S. Each person owns one square foot.

    Max Temkin, a co-creator of the game told The Chicago Tribune that they always wanted to buy a private island as a joke. When they got the opportunity, they decided it would be a great idea to preserve the pristine island, while giving a little piece of it back to the game’s fans. Through the license agreement, the card game owners, not the parcel owners, will pay taxes and maintain the island and the use of the island will be for "nondestructive, recreational purposes."

    In their license agreement they have sent to each person they wrote:

    This square foot of land is yours to do what you want, as long as you don’t destroy it or break any laws. We’ve enclosed a small flag you can use to mark your territory. Here is a list of suggested Hawaii 2 activities:

    -Nature walk
    -Father-son bonding
    -Henry David Thoreau
    -Lute practice
    -Pile of rocks that poignantly drifts into the sea
    -Ancestor worship
    The undisturbed island sits on one of the most pristine lakes in the Midcoast and has historically been used by kayakers and casual boaters.
    Lisa Whitman, who grew up in the Midcoast area and now lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said, that her husband, Michael Whitman, was one of the lucky ones who paid his $15 and got a sliver of the island’s ownership in return. “We’ve camped at Lake St. George and paddled our kayaks out to that island before,” she said. “It’s a darling island. My husband was jumping up and down once we discovered what we’d gotten in the mystery package. Every time, we’d visit and kayak out there he’d say, ‘I want that island.’ Now, he’s so excited to own a piece of it.”
    The Whitmans plan to come back this summer and visit the island. “As soon as we can, we’ll head out there and plant our little flag,” she said. “My mind is blown.” She added. “I love the game Cards Against Humanity. It’s so funny and nasty, but the owners are such thoughtful people to give this back to us, their fans.”
    It’s unclear how many people from out of state now own a piece of this island, but Given Cards Against Humanity’s decree that the new owner strictly abide by carrying out their trash and refrain from cutting any trees, it can only be a good thing that this island is now collectively, not privately owned.
    For more information on the island’s terms visit: cah.tumblr.com/

     Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com