A West Auckland couple bet 200 competitors to win a World trip for two as part of a 4km treasure hunt competition in the central city on Saturday.
More than 200 determined treasure hunters armed with passports and clues completed the hunt around central Auckland, the brisk winter weather no deterrent for those seeking the grand prize, return flights for two anywhere in the world.
Te Atatu South residents Avantika Gupta and her husband Sherwin Tian says they employed a particular strategy to ensure that they had the very best chance of winning.
“We saw the display of boxes and thought they looked a bit unusual so I stood close to those and I told Sherwin to go and stand in the middle of the event space in the crowd just in case I was wrong.”
Gupta says the last clue in the treasure hunt outlined how the winery had been built brick by brick and she knew then she was in the right place and begun pulling apart the branded boxes.
“I only had to go through two boxes and I didn’t realise for a few moments that I had won the prize… I thought ‘oh my gosh’ this can’t be happening.”
The recently married pair now plan to travel to Africa, the Galapagos Islands or Iceland with their winning tickets.
It’s unreal we never win anything, we just came for a good time and wine tasting so it was unexpected,” says Tian.
Auckland winery Villa Maria created the ‘Open Another World’ treasure hunt as a way to encourage Kiwis to try something new, while at the same time bringing the story of the iconic label to life.
The event began at Queens Wharf, the contestants we’re then instructed to follow clues provided at each location, which led them through four popular Auckland bars.
At each venue, contestants were given a selection of Villa Maria wines with matching food choices, along with another clue which ultimately led Gupta to the grand prize – two return tickets to a destination of her choice to experience another world, with a airline ticket from Air New Zealand valued at $6,000.
From Degree Bar, which has been a popular spot for America’s Cup fans keen to watch the competition from the city’s waterfront, next stop was the ever-popular eatery Soul Bar, named once again this month as one of New Zealand’s Top 100 Restaurants in Cuisine magazine’s Good Food Guide. Contestants were then directed to Pilkingtons, an orangery based in the heart of the city, before finishing back by the water at the Hilton, then onto the VIlla Maria container bar for their final clue.
Villa Maria founder and owner Sir George Fistonich was delighted with the response to the winery’s ‘Open Another World’ concept.
“As a proudly New Zealand family-owned winery, we got to where we are by pushing boundaries and defying convention, particularly when we moved to 100% screwcap. We want to encourage New Zealanders to do the same,” he says.
“So often we stick to what we know, but doing so means we don’t experience that feeling of being challenged or transported somewhere new. The Villa Maria Open Another World Treasure Hunt has been an opportunity for Kiwis to learn more about our story whilst opening their world up to new wine varietals they may never have experienced before.”