Nevada Day Rock Drilling

41st Annual Nevada Day World Championship
Single Jack Drilling Contest
Saturday, October 31, 2015, 11:05am
Carson Nugget West Parking Lot

The annual World Championship Single Jack Rock Drilling Contest takes place on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at the Carson Nugget west parking lot (directly across from the Nugget on Carson Street).

The competition begins around 11:00am (sometimes a little earlier, if there are a lot of competitors). The contest usually ends sometime between 3:00 or 4:00pm.

Contestants use 4 1/2 pound hammers and 3/4" bit of steel to drill as deep and as fast as they can in a 4,320 lb piece of Sierra White Granite from the Yosemite area (the hardest known granite in the region). Contestants have 10 minutes to pound the drills into the solid stone, their only help is from an assistant who runs water into the hole so the loose stone chips are splashed out with every stroke of the hammer on steel. The deepest hole wins.

The contest goes back to the Comstock mining skills of earlier times, when blast holes for dynamite were punched into ore bodies by hand.

The attraction of a chance at a world champion title plus a total purse of up to $6,000 makes an entry fee of $50 seem small! The champion receives $2,000, with lower amounts awarded down the line from there.

The world record was set in 1993 at 16.34 inches deep by Scott Havens of Elko, Nevada.

The World Championship Rock Drilling Contest began in Carson City during the Nevada Day Parade in 1975. Previous to that, the world championship was held in Denver Colorado. Competitors come from all of the West come to Nevada to compete, many traveling from California, Airzona, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

Get a Rock Drilling Application & Official Rules here.


Single Jack Drilling contest chairman Fred Andreasen, former world record holder, with daughter Pam during a Nevada Day contest in the late 1980s. Photo courtesy Fred Andreasen.

2015 Rock Drilling Results

  1. Emmit Hoyl from Colorado. His drill was 13 and 28/32nd inches.
  2. Tom Donovan of Reno. His drill was 13 and 25/32nd inches.
  3. Steve MacDonald of Golconda. His drill was 12 and 6/32nd inches.

Nevada Day, Inc.
P.O. Box 999 • Carson City, NV 89702-0999
(775) 882-2600 • Fax: (775) 882-6815
(866) NVDAY4U [866-683-2948]