An Australian man won a jackpot with his $49 (£36) raffle ticket after being chosen the new owner of a 16-bedroom beach resort on a picturesque Pacific island. The current owners, Doug and Sally Beitz – also from Australia, who nurtured their dream home for more than two decades, are said to have made roughty £2m from the raffle.
The Australian couple announced the winner, identified only as Joshua from New South Wales, on Tuesday (26 July) on Facebook. More than 50,000 people — including the couple's friends, customers, family members and other unknown people across the world had reportedly tried their luck, of whom Joshua emerged as the luckiest.
In addition to the Kosrae Nautilus Resort in Micronesia, Joshua has also won a scuba-diving business, a four-bedroom house, five rental cars, two-ten seater vans, a pick-up truck, a 32ft swimming pool, a private beach and the resort restaurant. The Beitz couple decided to hold the raffle in place of selling their dream business because they wanted someone passionate about island life to become the new owner. The idea of holding a raffle was reportedly floated by their son Adam.
Back in the mid-1990s, Doug, a former firefighter on Australia's Gold Coast, and Sally, a homemaker taking care of their three sons, dreamed of building a resort in Micronesia after watching a TV documentary on the region. They also read an article in a magazine about the business opportunities on the several islands in Micronesia. They opened the resort in October 1994, moved back to Australia for a while for their children's education, and then came back to the island again in 2004.
With their three boys all grown up and leading family lives back in Australia, the couple now want to wind up their island life and be with their children and grandchildren. "It's now time for us to begin a new chapter in our lives closer to family in Australia," the couple said on the resort website.
The website also mentioned that the resort business is debt free, profitable and fully staffed.