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by SixFigureStart | May 06, 2009


                             TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images
Apparently this cheeky bugger is better at relaxing in a tropical paradise than the rest of us.

Remember the too-good-to-be-true, "Best Job In The World" contest announced by the tourism department of Queensland, Australia back in January? Well, a winner was finally named today, and the lucky "Island Caretaker" is a 34-year-old Brit named Ben Southall who hails from Petersfield, has worked as an African tour guide and charity fundraiser, and featured photos of himself riding an ostrich and kissing a giraffe in his application video.

Southall beat out nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world in the contest, which Australian officials say has already generated AU$110 million worth of publicity for the Queensland region. The promotion was an instant viral sensation, generating such an onslaught of visitors to the contest's official web site that (as one faithful commenter noted) it actually crashed within the first two days. Of course, now that the contest is closed, expect Southall's Island Caretaker blog to crash just as quickly, as jealous people from around the world log on to leave their angry comments.

By the way, a word to the eternally optimistic: In case you missed it, Sonoma Valley wine country in California is offering a similar "dream job" scenario. Submit your application and become the Ben Southall of drunk twittering.

--Posted by Steven Schiff, Assistant Producer


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