$30 trip to Las Vegas? Couple sparkle in garage for travel contest video

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Rogan Moffitt and Ruby Wilson have transformed their garage into a glimpse of the high Las Vegas life they'd like to see for themselves, as part of a vacation contest hosted by Wellington Airport.

DAVID UNWIN/STUFF/Stuff

Rogan Moffitt and Ruby Wilson have transformed their garage into a glimpse of the high Las Vegas life they’d like to see for themselves, as part of a vacation contest hosted by Wellington Airport.

A Manawtū couple bet on public support and a touch of DIY glamor to earn their way onto a dream vacation in Las Vegas.

Ruby Wilson, 23, was lost in Instagram’s endless scroll when she stumbled across a nationwide competition run by Wellington Airport with a $10,000 holiday prize.

Hungry for international travel since Covid-19, she couldn’t resist entering. Now she and her boyfriend Rogan Moffitt are among five finalists challenged to turn a space in their home into their dream vacation destination and shoot a video.

Tattoo artist Moffitt quickly decorated the garage of his Palmerston North home with the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign.

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The couple spent $30 on party paint and tassels, and borrowed a poker table, roulette wheel, casino craps and blackjack mat.

The 40-second video celebrates the Sin City casino attractions, complete with a soundtrack to Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas.

The couple returned to New Zealand from Brisbane in 2020 as Covid cases rose in Australia and, like many, had been banned from overseas travel since due to border restrictions.

Wilson said she conceptualized and directed the video.

“We painted the wall. It took us two hours to assemble it. A friend of mine came to shoot the video.

They have been busy sharing the video on social media to garner the most votes.

“We put QR codes on supermarket notice boards to allow people to vote. We’re trying to share the video as much as possible so the city is behind us,” Wilson said.

It took the couple two hours and $30 to set up the Sin City scene, including the casino acorns and traps.

David Unwin / Stuff

It took the couple two hours and $30 to set up the Sin City scene, including the casino acorns and traps.

By Tuesday afternoon, the video had received 5,500 views on Facebook, 750 on Instagram and 800 on TikTok.

Jo Maxwell, head of brand and sponsorship at Wellington Airport, said the aim of the competition was to make people want to travel again, and it seemed to be working.

“Narrowing down to five finalists was tough, and now it’s up to the public to have their say.”

The public vote closes on May 27 at 9 a.m.

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