BOISE – It's a big day for Idaho schools, thanks to an Evel Knievel jump 39 years ago.
That's because five companies vied to be the highest bidder in an auction Friday morning, the winner getting the rights to land in Twin Falls so they can recreate that infamous jump.
Even though Evel Knievel did not successfully make the jump across the Snake River Canyon in 1974, the companies bidding want to recreate what he set out to do.
The bids started small, but quickly grew and grew, with the winning bid going for $943,000.
"Big" Ed Beckley was the last man standing.
He’s a Texas man with big plans for the 40th Anniversary of Evel Knievel's jump. A long-time stunt jumper himself, Beckley plans to jump the gap that Knievel couldn't.
"We're using a real live motorcycle,” Beckley said after the auction. “You know this is not for anything other than for all those people that said they can't do it. I was born with a very rusty spoon in my mouth. We just bid almost a million bucks, dude, to buy this thing, because we're going to turn it into something huge.”
Without going into specifics, Beckley told KTVB he has some big sponsors lined up. And he’s not the only one smiling about the deal.
"We had a great day. We're very excited about that," said Tom Schultz, Director of the Idaho Department of Lands.
Schultz's organization hosted the auction to lease land in Twin Falls at $25,000 a year for two years. The lease allows Beckley to host his event.
The winning bid of $943,000 is a bonus on top of the $25,000 annual lease.
"This just makes more money available for the future to fund education," said Schultz.
All of that money, in addition to royalties from the event, will go to Idaho schools.
"I think a million dollars is safe to say this activity, directly coming back to the state and that doesn't count the benefits to the local community that the event will bring in," said Schultz.
As for Twin Falls, Beckley hopes they'll thank him this time next year.
"I'm expected to be elected the Mayor of Twin Falls after this is over, not burned at the stake," said Beckley.
All of this, as Beckley said during the auction, for Evel Knievel.
"I'm the one that's going to get this done," said Beckley.
Beckley needs to give the full $943,000 to the Department of Lands by October 4th. After that, he still needs to get all of the proper permits with the City of Twin Falls before this jump can happen.
The jump is planned for September 2014, the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel's jump.