We’ve all dreamt of owning our own private island at some point or other – of having our own little paradise far away from the mundane world of work, sleep and chicken kievs which spew all their flavour out as soon as you pop them in the oven.
But it’s not actually possible, is it? To own and live on your own private island? How much would it cost to buy the island to start with? Far too much we’re thinking, and where would you get all your essentials from; your toothpaste, your toilet roll, your insolent chicken kievs?
Well, we’re not sure about the kievs, but it turns out that you don’t have to be a millionaire after all to buy your own private island. Or not to win one at least.
An Australian family have hit the headlines recently aftering decided to raffle off their island resort, the debt-free Kosrae Nautilis Resort Micronesia on the tropical island of Kosrae, to one lucky winner, and you can enter the draw from just $49.
Tickets start at $49 US dollars for the raffle, with packets of 10 tickets available and selling for $349 Australian dollars. The winner will be drawn on July 26 – so you’ve got a bit of time to muster up the cash and get yourself some tickets.
The previous owners Doug and Sally Beitz moved there in 1991 after quitting jobs in the rat-race, but are selling the island to move back to Australia after one of their children had a child three years ago.
What’s in it for them? Like any property sale, the money. The terms and conditions of the raffle state that "if less than 50,000 tickets are sold, the advertised prize is not available. In this case, the prize winner is given 50 percent of the total amount of tickets sold. For example, if 25,000 tickets were bought for $49.00, the total amount equals $1,225,000.00. In result, the winner receives 50 percent of $1,225,000.00 which equals $612,500.00."
So basically, if you win the competition but less than 50,000 tickets have been sold, you still get a shitload of money. That’s not the worst outcome ever. And the odds are a lot better than you’d get in the lottery.
But what’s the catch? Could it all just be a scam?
"We know that some people will think that [it’s a scam]," Doug Beitz told the Huffington Post. "If you could talk to our family, friends, staff and regular customers about us, they would tell you of the integrity that we put into everything we do, and this is no different.
"We seriously thought about selling it in a normal way, and if we had, no one would think it was a scam or too good to be true, but because we are now using a different method in the hope of putting the business into the hands of an average person, some people will think it's too good to be true and we accept that.
"We know the 'knockers and skeptics' will have their say and not buy a ticket, but that's a good thing, because they are not the people that we want to hand the resort to. We want someone who is open minded and forward thinking to win it, and we hope this raffle will attract those people.
"If the winner wants to run the resort 100 percent themselves they would need some basic people skills and computer skills. The tax laws in Micronesia are very simple, every three months you pay three percent of your turnover (what you bank) to the government, with very few allowable deductions. So if you did a one-day course on spreadsheets you could handle the financial side of things."
The press release for the raffle claims you’ll “never work again" meanwhile, with a profitable scuba business providing regular income, and says of the area: "Kosrae is a remote volcanic island in an untouched corner of the Western Pacific Ocean, 400 miles north of the equator.
“This idyllic tropical island is home to the three-acre waterfront Kosrae Nautilus Resort. As the island's longest-running resort and dive operation, Nautilus Resort is one of the best-maintained and most professionally managed hotels in Micronesia.
“In high demand with scuba divers and those seeking an untouched paradise, the resort has received exceptional reviews since its establishment 22 years ago. Now, in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it could be yours forever."
The island features cracking surf and dive spots, one hell of a climate and pretty much everything else you can think of when you think of private island life – waterfalls, greenery, wildlife. It looks like paradise.
It’s one hell of a life-changing opportunity for one lucky winner out there, whatever way you look at it.
If you want to get involved, head to the raffle site at wintheislandestates.com/enter for more information and to get involved.