First Mark Shuttleworth, now Julie Krause!
"Travelling to space remains a dream for most people but for one South African woman it has become a reality. On Tuesday evening, November 29 2005, a 27-year-old mother of one, Julie Krause from Centurion, was drawn as the winner of the space trip in the eBucks and First National Bank (FNB) 'Greatest Rewards on Earth' promotion, South Africa's most innovative competition to date.
Julie will join a select group of less than 500 people internationally who have left our atmosphere and will follow in the footsteps of other pioneering South Africans involved in making space tourism a reality - Mark Shuttleworth, Mike Melville and Elon Musk. She will, in all likelihood, also go down in history as the first South African woman to travel to space. Julie will be one of the first 150 space tourists on the sub-orbital space 'aeroplanes' expected to start service in two to three years time.
The winner was understandably overwhelmed with excitement at the announcement, saying, "I couldn't believe it when I was drawn as the winner. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this could happen to me. Not even my husband believed me when I first told him! I am an ordinary wife and mother with an ordinary job. I cannot believe that I'll be flying into space."
"This just shows all South Africans, and especially women, that they are capable of doing anything. I actually believe that now I can fly!"
Julie was randomly selected as the winner from amongst ten finalists. There were close to 2,5 million entries received during the three month competition. The promotional programme was conceptualised by promotions company Spin Experience with a view to making an ordinary South African, a celebrity astronaut.
Lezanne Human, CEO of eBucks, said, "The Greatest Rewards on Earth competition has been the biggest campaign we have ever run and to actually deliver on such an incredibly innovative idea is something eBucks and FNB can be proud of. I am very jealous that I won't be able to accompany Julie, I'm sure she is going to love this once in a lifetime experience."
CEO of FNB, Michael Jordaan, added, "This competition has been so magical and we believe it has inspired South Africans to achieve their dreams. Our objective was to reward an ordinary South African with a truly out-of-this-world experience. This competition created so much excitement - it got the whole country talking! We can't wait to hear about Julie's experience when she returns from the trip."
Simone Farinha, founding director of Spin Experience, said, "We proposed the world's biggest experience to capture the imagination of all South Africans, as well as to achieve eBucks and FNB's promotional objectives. The association of something as innovative and all encompassing as space travel with the FNB and eBucks brands has created a sense of wonderment across South Africa."
Julie, a data capturer at an outsourcing company, lives in Centurion with her husband Morne and their eleven month old daughter, Sage. Julie was born in Kimberley, but grew up in Carletonville, where her father was a senior official on the mines. Julie describes herself as an ordinary South African who loves spending time with family and friends.
The prize includes return tickets for Julie and a partner to the point of departure, a five day training course, all meals and accommodation for the duration of the stay, and the much envied seat on the sub-orbital space flight!"
[Edited 2005-12-08 20:02:28]