IS GOING INTO SPACE THE BEST PROMO PRIZE EVER?

I’ve been waiting for this day, and it has come: going into space is now a grand prize for a c-store promotion.

7-Eleven is sending someone into space as part of a campaign around the Steven Spielberg-produced Paramount sci-fi horror feature “Super 8,” which hits theaters next week. The capstone in the effort is an honest-to-goodness trip into near-orbit for the winner of a Foursquare location-based promotion. Private aerospace firm Space Adventures, Ltd. is providing the seat into suborbital space.

The new film, which is set in 1979, follows a group of friends in a small Ohio town who capture a train crash while making a Super 8-mm film. Weird things start happening around town, while the local lawman tries to uncover the truth, which turns out to be E.T. — though not of the kid-friendly, anthropomorphic, telephone-using variety.

The effort makes Foursquare the entry portal to an awards cache of 21,000 prizes including movie tickets, 10-zero gravity trips, and that grand prize. To enter the sweepstakes, people check in on Foursquare using their smartphone while at a 7-Eleven store. Prizes are awarded based on the number of check-ins and are selected every time check-ins hit certain thresholds tied to the number 8.

Every 88th person who checks in gets a free movie ticket; every 88,888th person gets one of ten tickets for Zero Gravity Corporation’s ZERO-G Experience. After the a threshold of 888,888 check-ins, everyone who participates through the month will be entered into the pool for the $100,000 near-orbit spaceflight, via Space Adventures.

Customers can check in via Foursquare as often as once every three hours at any 7-Eleven store and can check in at as many different stores as they like each day.

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