You can buy many things for $49: dinner and a movie, a full tank of petrol, a pair of Apple headphones. Oh, and a luxury island resort.
Rub your eyes as much as you like, but you did read that last bit right: a luxury island resort.
An Australian couple is raffling off their slice of paradise to give an average Joe and Jane a chance to live in tropical Micronesia as owners of the fully-functioning Kosrae Nautilus Resort – all for the cost of a US$49 ticket.
With a stroke of luck and maybe a few prayers, it could be you.
It sounds too good to be true. But we are assured this is 100 per cent legit.
Doug and Sally Beitz masterminded the “world-first” idea in place of a conventional selling method after they decided they were ready to return to the Gold Coast to be close to family and become self-described “professional grandparents“.
Doing so meant giving up the resort in the Western Pacific Ocean they had lovingly built up over 22 years.
"We’ve had our time in the sun and enjoyed a career most people only dream about, but our current goal now is to become professional grandparents. We feel like a new chapter in our lives is beginning, and we’re ready to pass the baton to someone else,” Doug said.
Comedy duo Those Two Girls give us 10 the most annoying habits of recent travellers. Post continues after video...
The fully-furnished, debt-free resort comes with 16 guest rooms, a four-bedroom family home, two apartments, a scuba diving operation, a private beach, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a handful of vehicles and more than a dozen long-term staff.
“The idea to transfer the resort and dive business this way... is because we want 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," Doug said.
The couple's eldest of four sons Adam Beitz, 30, is helping his parents manage the lottery giveaway. He told Mamamia the response had been "incredible".
"We've sold tickets to people in over 100 countries, where English might not be their first language ... dreaming about the possibility of winning this life," Adam said. "Some of the emails have brought tears to dad's eyes."
Most entries had been from people in the USA, followed by Australia, then Israel and Spain.
He said the campaign was designed to attract forward-thinking, positive minds and he emphasised that no tourism experience was required.
The winner will under a month-long training handover with the Beitz couple, after which the new owner will be able to choose to run the operation themselves or leave it in the hands of a manager. Happily, the resort is essentially self-sustaining.
"Whoever wins it is going to do well. They may well even run it better than my parents, and we're excited to see the changes," he said.
"My parents were average Joes back when they started it. They finished school in year 10, had no experience in the hospitality industry. They took a giant leap."
Doug and Sally left Queensland in 1994 after being charmed by the idyllic region in a travel documentary. Shortly after, they read a magazine article about business opportunities in Micronesia.
It felt like it was meant to be. So, Doug quit his government job and they packed up their young family for a new life.
"We knew we were taking a risk. But we were more petrified by the prospect of getting to 60 and wondering 'what if?'," Doug said.
Adam said he would never forget his happy memories growing up in the West Pacific, stressing this of course wasn't your stereotypical island life in which people give up technology and wear grass skirts.
He said there was a big expat community, public and private schooling, a modern hospital, an international airport -- all on a blissful backdrop of white sands and crystalline waters.
To protect themselves, the Beitz family won't be giving away the resort if they don't sell at least 50,000 tickets, in which case they will keep the resort and half the cash raised, giving the other half to the winning ticket.
But Adam confidently said there was only a very slim chance they wouldn't reach 50,000 tickets.
He wouldn't disclose how many tickets had been sold so far, saying the number of entrants would be revealed in the coming weeks, but did say: "We're going to hit that 50,000 mark." And soon.
Understandably, this raffle is proving very popular.
And you have about four weeks left to enter.
So if you are 21 or older and can picture yourself as the owner of a resort on a remote, tropical island, with a Pinacolada in hand, it's time to chase that dream. We've got our fingers and toes crossed for you.
The winning ticket will be drawn on July 26 and announced online.
For more information, click here.