Winning the travel lottery

Travel Lottery: Blue Valentine Holiday Brochure with my (unscratched) winning ticket!

Travel LotteryCanberra
Australian Capital Territory
31 December 2017

Travel Lottery

I was very glad to see a Christmas card sized envelope in my letterbox. With a bunch of exotic Malaysian stamps, no less!

Inside was a glossy brochure from “Blue Valentine Holiday”, which exhorted me to KEEP CALM & TRAVELLING ON. All right then.

Two scratch tickets inside. Apparently, they were running a 13th anniversary giveaway, with individual prizes up to $280 000 in American dollars, and a total of a million bucks given away in prizes.

Each ticket had a serial number, a barcode, and a couple of ISBNs as if they were paperback books. Odd.

Checking the Blue Valentine website, they offered an impressive array of holidays, none of which could actually be booked onsite. Odder.

And Google didn’t show up any results apart from the “Official Website of Blue Valentine Holiday”. You’d think that a company with thirteen years experience would have a bigger online footprint, but there it is. Only a couple of months old. Maybe they hadn’t quite worked out how to sell holidays online.

All sounded legit, so I scratched the tickets.

“Thank You!” said the first. Story of my lottery life, I must admit.

But my luck changed with the next: I’d won a 2nd Prize of $190 000!!!

Travel Lottery: I win second prize in a travel contest!

Woot!

Travel Lottery: mandatory charges to be paid.I just need to send back the winning ticket with my contact details “for further verification” and I may be obliged to submit taxes and “other mandatory charges” on my winnings.

By now, this was all sounding pretty familiar. I must admit that I get one of these things on an annual basis, always in a similar format, always a big winner. I’ve never actually gotten around to claiming my winnings, though. Funny that.

As a scam, it goes well beyond the typical email story of a bank error in my favour, or a politician’s widow wishes to get her late husband’s millions out of the country. Top marks for effort there.

However. The glossy brochure is full of mangled English waffle, the website looks good but doesn’t follow through, the ISBNs on the tickets ring false, and the huge amount of cash prizes from a travel agency is way over the top. We’re into state lottery territory if a million American dollars are being given away.

Has anyone else been a lucky winner?

Pete

Travel Lottery: I'm a winner!

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