How would it feel to win a fully paid trip to London? A vacation of your dreams full of luxury, and fun? The Greater Experience in London sweepstakes hosted by Hyundai Motor Company selected 5 USA winners in December 2019 to enjoy a once in a lifetime fan experience with Chelsea Football Club (soccer).
Each winner received a complete prize package including:
- Round-trip flights
- Accommodations in a four star hotel
- $500 Visa gift card
- Tickets to the Chelsea vs Aston Villa football game
Just imagine hopping on a flight across the globe to London, England to stay at a luxury hotel for a heart wrenching soccer game. My dreams came true when I was chosen as a winner for this trip!
First, it's time to explore
The trip was December 1-5 and my sister came as my companion. Upon our arrival, we had a true VIP experience with a personal driver, and camera men documenting our arrival of the pure excitement to be in London. They adorned us with smiles and free Hyundai winter paraphernalia including a hat, scarf, sweatshirt, bubble coat, and backpack. We also received food vouchers to enjoy the hotel’s fine dining, and an Oyster subway card to travel around London. Our accommodations were at the 4-star hotel, The Royal Garden Hotel, and our room had heated towels and robes, a couch, two beds, and a view of Kensington park. There was a total of 30 people from around the world that came during our same cohort. People from Singapore, Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark and the USA.
Once settled in and containing *some* of our excitement, my sister and I looked at each other and shouted “And we’re all gonna go - SHOPPING!” *uncue the White Chicks movie*
I took a practically empty checked bag because I knew I'd be reserving the entire first day for shopping. Honestly, I was surprised we didn’t spend the entire $500 gift card on Oxford street and Kensington. We were constantly giggling because we were swiping the card and barely thinking about the price. It's an entirely new feeling buying whatever you like with no care in the world - if I do say so myself!
On our second day, we scheduled an Airbnb experience for a photoshoot walking tour. The duration was about an hour and a half and we got amazing shots while exploring the upscale and affluent Nottinghill town. Nottinghill is full of colorful houses, small shops and bakeries, and was embellished with Christmas decor. After getting these dope shots and an insight to London culture (thanks Han!) we did the Champagne experience on the London Eye. The London Eye was sponsored by Coca Cola at the time, and is an observation wheel where you can see various landmarks, including Big Ben, and have an overlook of River Thames and the city.
We finished our last day exploring the Buckingham Palace and the multicultural city of Brixton. Brixton was one of my favorite parts and I wish we had had more time to explore and interact with the people. The city highly reflects their Caribbean roots, and African History. There’s tons of Caribbean eateries, beautiful African/British inspired wall art, street food, vintage vibes, clothing stores, bars, and night-life.
On top of winning the entire trip, the winners had the choice to draw ANOTHER PRIZE! These prizes were to draw from the following:
- Cheer on the players as they run onto the field
- Walk on the field and watch the player’s warm up
- Win a signed soccer ball.
Guess which number I drew from the bucket? NUMBER 2! I got to have a VIP experience of walking on the field during the entire 15 minute warm up before the game started. After playing soccer my entire life, I had never been to a professional soccer game. Not only did I get to attend a famous team game, but I got to go on the field and be close enough to the players *screams internally*
The game was invigorating and the stadium was completely packed as the fans chanted back and forth. My heart was pumping and I was so excited. If you care to know, Chelsea WON!
So how did I win and how can you possibly win a future sweepstakes?
The moment we've all been waiting for...drum roll please...
Step 1. Purchase a car
Step 2. Have the best luck on the planet
Haha, just kidding! Although I did purchase a new 2020 Hyundai Elantra before the sweepstakes, anyone in the USA 21+ was eligible to enter. I received the promotional
e-mail for the sweepstakes, entered my name, phone number, and e-mail, and boom within a month was chosen as a winner for this dream vacation. I honestly was in disbelief when I was reading the e-mail saying I was chosen as a winner. I re-read it about 1000 times.
You never know when you may be just as lucky as me, so if you see a future sweepstakes, just know they are real, and they are super worth the .5 seconds it takes to enter. Hyundai did an amazing job at ensuring our trip was welcoming, full of fun, and worry free during our entire stay.
Truly, a one of a kind trip I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lifetime.
The total value of the trip was nearly $7400. Similar to winning the lottery, you do count sweepstakes as miscellaneous income (1099-MISC) for your taxes. We had less than a week to complete all of the paperwork, get it notarized, and mail it in before they disqualified me as a winner so be on top of it!