It will be the hottest ticket in town this weekend, the story on pretty much everyone’s lips up and down the country; someone’s life is about to change rather drastically in the must-win $50 million lottery draw on Saturday.
$50 million – it’s an incomprehensible number really and invites many, many big decisions. Who do you tell and not tell, how quickly will you inform your boss to shove it, and most of all, what the hell are you going to spend it on?
Well, we here at Stuff Travel are only too happy to help lighten your wallet with some ideas for offloading a few of those millions. And for the 99.99999999 per cent of the rest of us who won’t see a dime and will be lucky to get a sniff of a bonus ticket, we offer an alternative.
* Here’s what you should do if you win big on Lotto on Saturday
* Lotto isn’t a ‘fair bet’, but what are your chances of winning the $50m jackpot?
* A whole island or 200 Teslas: What you could buy with Lotto’s $50m jackpot
* Lotto results: Powerball jackpots to $50m after no big winner in $42m draw
So you’ve won the lottery – Of course, the immediate enticement may be to spend it up big. How about inspiring the inner-Jeff Bezos in you and buying a private plane?
First up some bad news, your $50 million is chump change to the boss of Amazon and possible future Wellingtonian. His Gulfstream G650ER jet, which appeared in the capital last week, would set you back a cool $100 million. So I am sorry, you’re going to have to lower your ambitions straight away.
But how about this little number – a Gulfstream G450? This 2014 jet can fit up to 14 of your nearest and dearest in three luxury compartments. There’s a galley, and it’s described as being in “excellent condition”. The price tag? Yours for US$19,950,000 or just over NZ$31,600,000. You may have to worry about some additional costs that may chew into your winnings (staff, parking, storage) and you’ll have to make peace with the carbon emissions, but it’s certainly one way to announce that you’re a winner, baby.
So you haven’t won the lottery – How about piloting a plane for a tiny fraction of $50 million? Auckland’s FLY A JET offers a selection of flight simulator packages which allows you to get behind the controls of a Boeing 737-800. There are over 24,000 possible airports to fly in, and out of and prices start at $89.
THE ISLAND STAY
So you’ve won the lottery – Now, you are going to need some “fabulous” new celebrity friends; thinking Kate Moss, Barack Obama, Mariah Carey; that sort of ilk. Where better to hang out with them than Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s luxury Caribbean retreat?
Branson bought the 30-hectare island in the British Virgin Islands for $307,832 after visiting in 1978. He said it was “the best financial move” he had ever made. Now, you can rent out the whole island for over 30 people for “just” $138,000 a night. Thankfully, that includes all your food, drink, butlers, mini-submarines, calypso bands etc, etc.
So you haven’t won the lottery – There are some celebrities of a different kind you won’t find on Necker – tuatara, kororā, and Wellington tree wetas. Matiu/Somes Island, in the middle of Wellington Harbour, offers a different style of island retreat. This is a sanctuary for all forms of native plants, birds, reptiles and invertebrates, and it’s all just a quick ferry ride from the CBD. If you want to stay overnight, then get a few mates together to stump up $200 to bunk at a 1970s “Maximum Security Quarantine station”.
So you’ve won the lottery – It may be a slightly tough time in the cruise industry at the moment, but that shouldn’t put you off considering a slower trip around the planet. And now that you have the cash, the aptly named “million-pound cruise” will be right up your alley. The Six Star Cruises’ trip on the Seven Seas Explorer takes in 41 ports across 11 countries on a 123-day voyage and features helicopters, private jets, and luxury hotel stays along the way.
It’ll cost just over $2 million per couple, and you won’t have to worry about claustrophobia – the Regent Suite is over 400 square metres, with two bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms. It is sailing from November 2021-March 2022, including some stops in New Zealand for you to show off.
So you haven’t won the lottery – They call it the “best job in the world”, so how about pottering about with a sea postie while seeing some of the best scenery Aotearoa has to offer? Each day is a different journey for posties on the Pelorus Sea Boat, a real working mail boat in the Marlborough Sounds. Discover hidden bays and coves that only the locals know, and get up close and personal with some unique critters. Departing from Havelock, it’s $132 for a six-hour cruise.
So you’ve won the lottery – Now you’re a multimillionaire you don’t need to limit yourself to just one overseas destination on holiday. Or one continent. Nor do you have to worry yourself with the logistics.
Four Seasons’ 20-day “Remote Wonders” “private jet experience” will see you visit seven countries spanning three continents at the cost of US$169,000 (NZ$268,000) per person. Flying first class will seem like the poor man’s choice after you’ve flown in the company’s brand new, customised Airbus A321neo, where you can sink into lie-flat Italian leather seats with matching ottomans, enjoy in-flight spa treatments, chat with the on-board naturalist and photographer, and indulge in as much fancy food and fine wine as you can drink.
After ringing in the New Year (2021) at an exclusive party in Dubai, you’ll visit the ancient Vietnamese city of Hoi An, explore Angkor Wat, sample slices of northern and southern Thai life in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai and Bangkok, hit the beaches of the Seychelles, visit a family of mountain gorillas in a Rwandan bamboo forest, and walk the Serengeti with a Masai guide.
The price tag also includes a personal concierge at your beck and call 24/7, a dedicated travel planner and, if you need it, a physician. “The only thing you’ll have to think about is enjoying yourself and doing as much or as little as you want,” Javier Loureiro, director of guest experience, promises.
So you haven’t won the lottery – We’re not going to try to hoodwink you into believing that a train run by New Zealand Rail offers the same level of luxury, but their “great journeys of New Zealand” does enable you to see decent chunks of the country in relative style.
With flexi fares starting from $159, the Coastal Pacific running between Picton and Christchurch from spring to autumn is pretty good value. Even if you’ve visited the stops en route – which include Blenheim, Kaikōura and Rangiora – before, chances are there are parts of them and their surroundings you have yet to explore. The walks around Picton, for example, could keep you occupied for days, if not weeks, and I’m not sure you can ever have enough time in the Awatere Valley. You also get to take in the rugged Oaru coastline, the pink salt plains at Lake Grassmere, the Okarahia Viaduct and the Kahautara River bridge. If you have more time and cash at your disposal despite failing to win Lotto, you could extend your trip by jumping on the Interislander to Wellington and the Northern Explorer.
THE ‘FRENCH’ SOJOURN
So you’ve won the lottery – When you have $50 million in the bank, spending $17,250 a night on accommodation isn’t all that extravagant really. Especially when your lodgings are an 18th-century Provencal chateau which has been producing its own wine and olive oil since 1731.
Occupying over 200 hectares in the famously photogenic countryside between Arles and Avignon, Chateau d’Estoublon sleeps up to 20 guests in 10 enormous bedrooms, a heated outdoor swimming pool, theatre, games room, bar and wine cellar (naturellement). Hell, there’s even a hammam (Turkish bath). With the services of a chef, butler, and housekeeper included in the price, you’ll be treated like royalty without having to shoulder the burdens that come with an HRH title. You’ll basically be Harry and Meghan.
So you haven’t won the lottery – You mightn’t be able to afford to holiday like the (former) Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but you can stay at Sussex by the Sea in Akaroa, which is about as French a place as you’re going to find in Aotearoa.
The upstairs apartment occupies a prime position along the waterfront, part way between the wharf and the main swimming beach, and you can get your fill of French food and wine in the cafes and restaurants on the main drag or, if that’s a bit pricey for you, you might find something French-ish at the local Four Square.
Listed on Airbnb, the place sleeps six, is “sparkling clean” according to recent guests and has decent-sized deck from which to soak up those harbour views. One recent reviewer even said: “Probably the best AirBnB we have ever stayed in. Clean, comfortable retro decor and a view to die for. We could walk in either direction and find cafes, boutiques, the beach, kayaking, the list goes on…. I could have just sat out on the balcony all day – and night… It was magical. We didn’t want to leave.”
What will you do when you win the $50 million? What travels will you go on? Let us know in the comments.