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High school sweethearts from rural Australia win Middle Seat Lottery on Virgin Australia flight

Newlywed goat farmers have become one of the lucky winners of Virgin Australia’s ‘middle seat lottery’ after first mistakeing the congratulations email as a scam.

As part of the airline’s new ‘Bring on Wonderful’ campaign travellers who sit in the ‘dreaded’ middle seat go into the draw each week to win hundreds of prizes amounting to $230,000.

The very first winner was Lauren Jackson from Wilcannia, NSW, who alongside her high school sweetheart of 15 years and new husband Nick, jumped aboard a Virgin Australia flight to honeymoon in the Whitsundays in October.

The duo from outback Australia had their wedding plans turned upside down when they were forced to cancel their big day due to Murray River flood waters engulfing their wedding venue. 

The very first winner was Lauren Jackson from Wilcannia, NSW, who alongside her high school sweetheart of 15 years and new husband Nick (both pictured), jumped aboard a Virgin Australia flight to honeymoon in the Whitsundays in October

They rushed back from Echuca-Moama to Broken Hill, where the tight-knit community rallied together to create their perfect day. 

Parents, siblings and friends scrambled to pull together catering, makeup, a venue and entertainment – to create a dream wedding in just 48 hours. 

The following day nervous flyer Lauren happily gave Nick the window seat on their flight to Queensland so she could sit in the middle – placing a buffer between herself and the edge of the plane. 

She spotted the Middle Seat Lottery pamphlet sticking out of the seat pocket in front of her and decided to fill it in, not knowing she would win two premium economy return tickets to Miami and a Virgin Voyages cruise around the Caribbean.

‘I still can’t believe it! I’m not a lucky person. We probably should have travelled business class for our honeymoon but I’m glad we didn’t now,’ she said. 

They rushed back from Echuca-Moama to Broken Hill, where the tight-knit community rallied together to create their perfect day

They rushed back from Echuca-Moama to Broken Hill, where the tight-knit community rallied together to create their perfect day

Parents, siblings and friends scrambled to pull together catering, makeup, a venue and entertainment - to create a dream wedding in just 48 hours

Parents, siblings and friends scrambled to pull together catering, makeup, a venue and entertainment – to create a dream wedding in just 48 hours

‘We work so hard and hardly ever have a holiday. We have never been to the US before and have only been overseas to Europe once as a couple when we were 21 for my birthday.

‘We have never been on a cruise before – we really don’t know what to expect but we can’t wait!’

The second winner of the Middle Seat Lottery so far was 55-year-old retired army serviceman and father-of-three David Heath.

He spent over 37 years in the army predominantly in the infantry before injuries forced him into soldier recruitment and HR.  

David won a million Virgin Velocity Points and plans to spend them on a business class trip to Tasmania to celebrate his wife’s birthday, a snow trip in New Zealand with his kids, and even a family trip to Fiji.

‘No one likes the Middle Seat but being ex-army, I’m used to tough conditions,’ he said.

'We work so hard and hardly ever have a holiday. We have never been to the US before and have only been overseas to Europe once as a couple when we were 21 for my birthday,' Lauren said

‘We work so hard and hardly ever have a holiday. We have never been to the US before and have only been overseas to Europe once as a couple when we were 21 for my birthday,’ Lauren said

‘I’m terrible with IT so I never allocate my seat so it’s probably my fault. I’d prefer window or aisle seats.’

David acknowledged that it was actually his wife who entered the lottery after he told her ‘people never win those things’. 

‘I thought it was a hoax or a scam when the email came through, so I left it for a few days. After a while I called Virgin and the rest is history,’ he said.

‘Two days later we have one million points in our account.’  

Virgin Australia’s Bring on Wonderful campaign has $230,000 worth of prizes up for grabs and is designed to incentivise passengers in choosing the middle seat.

A recent survey from the airline found that no travellers chose the middle seat as their preferred seat on a plane flight, while 62 per cent selected an aisle seat, 35 per cent a window seat and three per cent saying they didn’t care. 

Those wishing to enter into the weekly draw need to be 18 or older, a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, have their flight details entered on the Virgin app within 48 hours of their flight departing and, most importantly, be seated in the middle seat.

Virgin Australia’s campaign ends on April 23, 2023. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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