A new California Lottery promotion is aimed at enticing fans of Thomas Keller who maybe don't have the funds to experience his extravagant multi-course French-American meals on their own. Now through the end of January, if you purchase an Emerald 10 Scratcher and go through a series of steps to enter the Lottery's "Ultimate Foodie" contest, you could win the coveted Black Card Experience for two at three-Michelin-star Napa restaurant French Laundry, plus a two-night stay at a nearby lodge. Winners will be announced by Valentine's Day.
To enter the contest, all you have to do is take a selfie with your Scratcher, which is somehow not the oddest thing we've been asked to do for food. Do that and then in 500 characters or less explain who you would take with you on this gastronomic adventure and why and you're all entered.
Here's how the California Lottery sets up the prize (gratuitous use of the word "foodie" ahead):
Ask any serious foodie and they’ll tell you exactly what the Napa Valley’s The French Laundry is all about. Nope, it’s not a fancy Laundromat. The French Laundry is considered one of the top 50 gourmet restaurants in the world, and now California Lottery players have a chance to taste what it’s all about.
“California is home to the Farm-to-Fork foodie movement, and what better way to celebrate that than to eat at one of the world’s best restaurants right in our state,” said Russ Lopez, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications for the California Lottery. “We have wonderful restaurants right here in California, along with some of the best high-end resorts. If you love food and relaxation, then buy a ticket, take a chance and join the ultimate ‘foodie’ club!”
The Black Card Experience you will win includes BMW car service to the restaurant, a bottle of Champagne, followed by French Laundry's typical 18-course tasting menu and a gift from Chef Keller upon departure. The California Lottery says it is not affiliated with the restaurant and it simply purchased the gift certificate valued at $2500.
The Yountville, Calif. restaurant closed for renovations on December 24, one day before it was broken into and looted for $300,000 worth of wine. It will remain closed until spring at the earliest, but worst case scenario, you wait until late summer or early fall to cash in your winnings (which is probably about how long you'd have to wait if you made reservations the old fashioned way).
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Already, around 50 people have submitted images of themselves posing happily with their Scratchers. You can view your competition in the contest's photo gallery and rest assured that if you don't get the grand prize, you can always try again with the second prize: 10 more Emerald 10 Scratchers.
To submit your photo and caption, visit the promotion's microsite calottery.com/UltimateFoodie