The coolest sweepstakes of all time happened and you missed it. Don’t feel too bad though, its not like it was last week, it happened in 1967 when the model company Revell gave away a life size replica of the Gemini capsule built by McDonnell Douglas. Kinda makes that free Egg McMuffin you got from playing Monopoly at McDonalds seem a little sad, doesn’t it?
It may seem like a gag or some sort of scam, but it’s not. The Revell model company actually did give away a space ship as a grand prize in a sweepstakes they held over 40 years ago. While the actual mock-up looked nowhere near as authentic as the ad shows, it was awarded to a kid in Portland, Oregon along with a guitar and a complete collection of Revell’s model kits. That’s right, if you were worried that owning a giant replica space capsule would ruin your reputation with the ladies, then your sweet new guitar provided you with the means to woo them back.
Unfortunately, even though some lucky kid won the capsule, it was part of the contest rules that you had to donate it to a local museum so that everyone could enjoy it. So the capsule mock up was finally delivered to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where it still rests today. According to Revell employee Joyce Collier, McDonnell Douglas refused to give the model away at the last minute but was persuaded by the media coverage at the time to do it anyway, which is good because we all know the surest way set a child on a lifetime path of super-villainy is to take away the space capsule that he rightfully won in a comic book ad.
Here’s a pic of the capsule now residing at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry…