An Australian couple is raffling their tropical island resort and scuba diving business, after living there for more than two decades. One lucky winner will own the multi-million dollar slice of paradise for only $36 (AUD$49)—and more than 53,000 people will have chipped in.
Owners Doug and Sally Beit moved to the Micronesian island of Kosrae with their four children in 1994, building Kosrae Nautilus Resort from scratch on the island paradise. Now, after 24 years, they are ready give it all up so they can become full-time grandparents.
“We have four boys, and three years ago one of them gave us a beautiful granddaughter. She lived here for a year and we got to enjoy her every day. Then, when she left, we were just heartbroken. Sally particularly feels the tug on her heartstrings to be closer to our little angel and any other grandchildren that come along,” Doug said on the raffle website.
Kosrae is part of the Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean and its population is around 6,500.
The debt-free resort has 16 hotel rooms as well as 16 full time staff. It also has a 70-seat restaurant, two dive boats, eight rental cars, and a four-bedroom house for the manager.
“So while you recline and enjoy the island life, a manager can run the business, earning you an ongoing income!” the website states.
“Life feels like a perpetual holiday when you live on an island,” says Doug.
However, he admitted that, at first, the island took a lot of getting used to.
“Over twenty years ago, the food supply was a bit limited here. Back then, the things we take for granted now, like cappuccinos, tomatoes, and avocados, could be hard to come by.”
Despite the food shortages, Doug and Sally’s social life blossomed. They made friends quickly on the island.
“Back then there was no Internet or TV, so we would have a potluck three nights a week. We got to know the people here better in six months than you would in ten years in a typical Australian suburban cul-de-sac. Some of our best friendships have been made during our time here,” says Doug.
Even though they had no prior experience in the tourism or hospitality industries, they were still in their twenties, and were both exhausted from the typical 9-to-5 life. Doug said that coming to Kosrae was exactly what he and his wife needed.
“I definitely felt as if life had different plans for me and Sally,” says Doug. “I think we all have opportunities presented to us regularly, but you need to open your eyes to see them.”
And now they are giving someone else a chance to experience what they had for the last 24 years.
“Your life is about to change in a very special way!” says Doug.
Doug and Sally have already sold more than 53,000 raffle tickets in over 150 countries. They will announce the lucky winner on July 26.