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Airline launches lottery to entice more passengers to sit in the middle seat

(CNN) — Offering neither a window view, nor easy access to the lavatory, the middle seat is indisputably the least desirable spot to sit on a flight. In fact, only 0.6% of more than 7,500 voters polled prefer -- or, perhaps more likely, accidentally voted for -- the middle seat, according to a recent social media poll by Virgin Australia.

That number might soon go up if the airline's scheme to get passengers to willingly book the dreaded middle seat is a success.

Virgin Australia has just launched the Middle Seat Lottery, a special raffle worth about AUD230,000 (or $145,000). And it's only open to those who sit in the middle seat -- voluntarily or involuntarily -- during a flight.

"Virgin Australia is an airline that's doing things differently and we are having a lot of fun coming up with exciting innovations to make every part of the travel experience more wonderful," says Jayne Hrdlicka, the chief executive officer of Virgin Australia Group, in a press release.

"Now we're giving our loyal guests the opportunity to win from a prize pool valued at over $230,000 for simply sitting in a middle seat." Prizes include free flights, a helicopter pub crawl and a bungee jump

From now until April 23, 2023, any Velocity Frequent Flyer member aged 18 years or older who is seated in a middle seat can use the airline's app to enroll in the lottery.

Each week, a different prize will be awarded to the winner of a lucky draw. Among the innovative gifts up for grabs are a full day helicopter pub crawl (including return flights to Darwin) and a two-night holiday in Cairns including flights, accommodation and a bungee jump.

For fans of the Australian Football League, there are flights and tickets to the Australian Football League Grand Final as well as exclusive access to the pre-game lunch and after party.

Travelers could also win Virgin's "Platinum Velocity" frequent flier status for one year -- along with one million extra Velocity Points -- as well as a few refurbished, themed gallery carts. After the announcement was posted to the airline's social media channels on October 24, some commenters agreed that it is a "brilliant plan" whereas others said that nothing could ever get them to sit in the middle seat.

Interested in trying your luck? The prize of the week will be posted on the Virgin Australia website.

This article orignially appeared on CNN

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