The luckiest man on earth
British national Ben Southall has landed the “Best job in the world.” It’s not fair.
May 6, 2009 2:23 by Dana El Baltaji
Ben Southall, a British national, has won the “best job in the world”: caretaker of a tropical island in Australia, reports Reuters. The competition was part of a wide-reaching campaign by Tourism Queensland, which attracted 34,700 applicants from 200 countries (no one on the Kipp team applied. We don’t know why).
Southall was picked from 16 finalists short-listed for the contest to win the job. According to the competition’s official website, his duties as caretaker will include: “Exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef to discover what the area has to offer [...], reporting back on [his] adventures to Tourism Queensland headquarters in Brisbane (and the rest of the world) via weekly blogs, photo diary, video updates and ongoing media interviews.”
The job pays AUD $150,000 (US $113,500) for a six-month contract.
Southall, a charity fundraiser, is thrilled: “To go away now as the island caretaker for Tourism Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef is an extreme honor,” he said on live television from Hamilton Island. “I hope I can fill the boots as much as everybody is expecting, my swimming hopefully is up to standard and I look forward to all of the new roles and the responsibilities that the task involves.”
The “Best job in the world” campaign has given Queensland unprecedented media coverage since it was launched in January 2009. News of the competition spread mainly through video-sharing and networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube.
“The worldwide response to Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” campaign has been nothing short of phenomenal,” explains Anthony Hayes, CEO, Tourism Queensland.
According to the tourism authority, the campaign cost approximately $1.7 million, but generated over $110 million in publicity worldwide.
And with Southall reporting on his adventures on the island for the next six months, Queensland will continue to receive unprecedented coverage at minimal cost.
Southall, Kipp hates you.