Tens of thousands of people from more than 200 countries have applied for “the best job in the world” — being paid to loll about on an Australian island — officials said.
A late rush of more than 7,500 applications over the weekend brought the number people hoping to become “caretaker” of tropical Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef to 34,684, the Queensland state government said.
The most interest came from the US with 11,565 applicants, followed by Canada with 2,791, Britain with 2,262 and Australia with 2,064, it said.
Among the latest applicants were famed US crooner and movie star Dean Martin’s son Ricci and a Barack Obama impersonator. Candidates had to submit a video application in English of up to one minute explaining why they are uniquely qualified for the post.
The job pays about US $100,000 for six months and includes free airfares from the successful candidate’s home country to the island of white sands and clear waters.
In return, the winner will be expected to have as much fun as he or she can enjoy — soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkeling, sailing — and to report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
A shortlist of 50 applicants will be announced on March 2, the final 11 candidates will be flown to the island for interviews from May 3, and the winner will be announced on May 6.