Because everyone's favorite part of Star Wars was the racing.
Red Bull provided the hotel and flight, but they never specified which country each would be in. The two lucky "VIPs" were flown into Germany (which you might recognize as "not Belgium," despite Germany's best efforts), then had to make their own travel arrangements to the promised four-star hotel ... which was in the fucking Netherlands. Oh, and despite requesting twin beds, the contest winner was forced to share a bed with his brother -- forced incestuous bedding likely being what cost them that extra star.
Since, like Germany, the Netherlands is distinctly not in Belgium, the winner was once again forced to hastily make their own travel plans (presumably while also being annoyed by, but ultimately befriending, John Candy) to get to the damn Grand Prix.
*From your hotel room.
If all that wasn't enough of a shit sandwich of a vacation, the scheduling of the return flight meant that they had to drag their luggage to the event and leave before the race was over. The whole contest was such a clusterfuck, the winner filed a complaint with the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority -- who upheld most of the complaints, but stopped short of pointing out that the trip was about as fun as ingesting a Red Bull.
A Trip To Space (Will Bankrupt You With Taxes)
For a long time, it seemed like the only way to get to space was to become an astronaut or have some kind of insane plan in store for your cremated remains. In recent years, however, the concept of space tourism has captured the attention of everyone who ever gazed into the heavens and dreamed of getting hammered and watching censored versions of Hollywood movies among the stars.
Naturally, a lot of contests have been getting in on the excitement, giving away tickets to space with companies such as Space Adventures, whose spaceship safety features hopefully aren't handled by the same person who proofreads their website.
We expect free tickets for the whole Cracked staff for pointing this out, guys.
First off, all contest winnings are considered taxable income, so winning the crazy expensive space ticket could really screw over your taxes. While some contests to send people to the cosmos have compensated for that, one poor guy won a contest with Space Adventures that didn't cover that cost. Since he didn't have the $25,000 in tax money lying (soon to be floating) around, he was forced to give up his seat -- literally, his childhood dream.
After the story hit the press, a rival company looking to get into the space tourism biz offered to cover the cost ... if the contest winner would work for them, reporting back on his trip. It's kind of the galactic equivalent of washing dishes to pay for a restaurant bill.
Another man won a free trip with Virgin Galactic ... in 2005; a search for his name and "Virgin" tells us that he's still waiting for his cosmic cherry to be popped. This is no surprise, since Virgin doesn't even have a working spacecraft right now (their first one blew up during a test flight in 2014, and they're building another one). When, exactly, these contest winners will actually get to claim their prize is thousands of feet up in the air, unless the companies start getting creative and come up with "alternative" methods.
Just saying, nowhere on the ticket does it say it can't be for a very big catapult.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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