Children are the future.

At least, that’s what the Idaho Potato Commission is banking on for its latest promotion. The Eagle-based commission is offering a $10,000 grand prize to kids who play an online video game, half of which should go to the winner’s school.

Online game teaches potato growing, offers $10,000 prize

Courtesy Idaho Potato Commission

Spuddy Buddy, the Idaho Potato Commission's mascot, invites kids ages seven and up to play an educational video game meant to teach them about where potatoes come from. Participants can enter to win $10,000, half of which goes to the winner's school.

This isn’t any old video game, though. It starts out with Spuddy Buddy, the commission’s mascot, taking the player through a short farm-to-table lesson on Idaho potatoes. The tutorial explains how Idaho’s soil is rich in nutrients because of an ancient volcanic eruption, as well as how potato seeds are planted and how potatoes grow underground.

After the tutorial, players are asked to put a set of photo screen shots from the video in order to get them thinking about the farm-to-plate process. When they get the photo order right, they earn a chance to enter the sweepstakes for $10,000.

The game went up online Sept. 15 and should be there through Oct. 31, according to a commission news release.

The game is open to U.S. residents ages seven and older, according to the release, and the winner should be selected at random via a raffle drawing.

While consumers are on the commission’s Web site, www.idahopotato.com, they can also check out some enhanced features. An improved widget called Watching Waistlines & Wallets with Denise and Friends provides health and nutrition tips to users from Denise Austin, a commission celebrity spokeswoman.

The Watching Waistlines & Wallets micro site is also loaded with more recipes and photographs, according to the release.

Beginning Oct. 1, the site will also feature a news feed with potato updates from around the globe, the release stated.

The commission also has plans for some celebrity media tours to promote the class Idaho potato, the russet burbank, as well as some of the specialty varieties the state is producing more and more of, including reds, golds and fingerlings.