Get this: there is a startup called I Dream of Space that is selling posters for $10 that also come with the chance to win a trip to space.
In other words, your $10 ticket could be worth a $200,000 seat on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo or a $95,000 trip on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx. Apparently the drawing will take place after 25,000 people enter the raffle.
So now that I Dream of Space got my attention, and I got yours, we are both asking ourselves if this offer is for real. Here is what we have been able to glean from a cached page from www.idreamofspace.com (full disclosure, I did not receive a free ticket and poster for "being awesome/telling people," as the site mentions below, but it would be certainly hard to refuse one!):
So is this a lottery or a raffle?
Heck no! Online lotteries are illegal in many countries (though not all of them). This project is a Sales Promotion. If it looks similar, it’s because it’s very similar. We made a video about this – you can watch it here.
When will the winner be drawn?
The winner will be drawn when we reach the threshold of 25,000 poster sales.
(Including the ones we give away for being awesome/telling people about us/being both awesome and telling people about us)
Who provides the ticket to space?
At the moment there are a few different providers who are selling commercial space flights to the public. We’re still haven’t locked in an ‘official’ partnership just yet, and we’re trying not to use names specifically until we have, what we CAN say, is that we HAVE spoken to providers who have said they’ll take our money and give a ticket to the winner of the draw. (Google ‘Commercial Space Flight’ if you’re still curious – there’s more providers out there than you might think!)
‘What are my chances of winning, specifically?
There’s a limit of 25,000 posters for each promotion, which means your chances are…you guessed it! 1 in 25,000. You can always increase your chances by getting more posters, indeed, we strongly encourage this activity, though we recommend warning those you live with before wallpapering the interior of your house with your unusually large space poster collection.
How will you make sure the draw is fair/transparent/auditable?
The short version is we’re going to use a combination of hashing of peoples email addresses, creating a text file with the results (that goes out to all the participants) and live-streaming us using Random.org to pick a random number between 1-25,000 to tell us which line in the file to pick. It’s pretty fancy. You can click here to watch the video we made about it.
Got a question that’s not mentioned here?
Email us at questions (at) idreamofspace.com and we’ll add it to this list.
Apparently the site is down now, but we were also able to find their Facebook page and this video on Youtube:
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan