Smith Lake Jake

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Smith Lake Jake (born c. 2005) is a male groundhog (Marmota monax) kept by Ginger and Heath Whitworth and used in Groundhog Day events. He has been making public predictions 2005, most recently in an annual breakfast event at the Maurice C. West Community Center in Graysville.

As interpreted by Whitworth, the question of whether Jakes see his shadow is immaterial. If the hair on Jake's tail stands up, then you can expect six more weeks of winter. In addition to annual weather forecasts, Smith Lake Jake has been enjoined to predict the gender of unborn babies and the outcomes of football games. He is credited with accurately predicting Taylor Hicks win on "American Idol" in 2006.

Smith Lake Jake has a collection of more than 125 hats for public appearances, including a black stovepipe top hat embellished with pictures of Smith Lake wildlife, a red plaid winter cap with ear flaps, and a houndstooth hat in honor of Bear Bryant.

Smith Lake Jake appeared with Ken "Suzuki Man" Nichols in ads for Birmingham Suzuki. WBRC-6's Mickey Ferguson regularly reported on Jake's February predictions for "Good Day Alabama". Ginger and Jake have paraded at numerous Do Dah Day events.

In 2024 Smith Lake Jake participated in filming scenes for "Bad Man" with star Seann William Scott.

The lifespan of a captive groundhog is thought to be up to 14 years. The Whitworths have kept other groundhogs, including a Smith Lake Jake Jr who was deemed Jake's heir apparent.

Groundhog Day predictions

  • 2023: no prediction
  • 2022: longer winter
  • 2021: early spring
  • 2020: early spring
  • 2019: longer winter
  • 2018: early spring
  • 2017: early spring
  • 2016: early spring
  • 2005: longer winter


  • "Meet Smith Lake Jake." (April 15, 2015) Alabama Power Co. Shorelines
  • Byington, Pat (January 29, 2024) "”Smith Lake Jake” set to make forecast at Graysville Groundhog Day reveal." Bham Now
  • Byington, Pat (February 1, 2024) "Town of Graysville hosts Seann William Scott + more for Hollywood production." Bham Now

External links