An Australian man has won a tropical island resort in Micronesia after paying just $65 for a ticket in the raffle that netted him the Pacific paradise.
The winner is a New South Wales resident known only as Joshua.
Doug and Sally Beitz, who built the 16-room Kosrae Nautilus Resort in 1994, recently decided that, after living 20 years in Micronesia, it was time to return to Australia. That only left one problem: who would take over their tropical island paradise?
The couple’s son, Adam, had the brilliant idea of raffling off the island, with the aim of not handing it over to someone who was already a millionaire. Co-owner Doug Beitz hoped that the winner would be “someone who likes warm weather, likes meeting new people from around the world, is adventurous” and that “this piece of untouched paradise placed in the hands of someone who truly falls in love with it, someone who has dreamed of island life and who will continue to respect the island’s precious ecosystem, not simply the person with the deepest pockets”.
With 50,000 tickets sold to people from 100 countries around the world at US$49 each, the raffle certainly meant that the family profited from the competition, which was the impetus behind Adam’s idea.
When the winner was announced on Tuesday, Doug and Sally, after a bit of difficulty tracking Joshua down, were elated to learn that he was Australian.
The lucky winner will take possession of the Pacific island resort, including scuba-diving business, eight motor vehicles, AU$13,000 in a bank account, and two dive boats. The resort, which is debt-free, profitable and has over 20 years left on its lease, is situated on the Micronesian island of Kosrae, just west of Hawaii.
Kosrae features ancient ruins, a volcano, its own international airport, schools, healthy tourism trade and 6500 residents.
Doug and Sally Beitz are looking forward to handing over the island resort to an Aussie and beginning their new life together.
“We feel like a new chapter in our lives is beginning, and we’re ready to pass the baton to someone else,” said Mr Beitz. “We’ve had our time in the sun and enjoyed a career most people would never even dare dream about. Our current goal now is to become professional grandparents.”
Would you have bought a raffle ticket for your chance to win a tropical island resort? Would you be happy to relocate to an island paradise and begin a new life there?
Read more at www.traveller.com.au