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Got a Golden Ticket? Elon Musk Goes Willy Wonka With Tesla Model 3, Invites 12 Reservation Holders to His Gigafactory

Back in 1964 British author Roald Dahl penned the classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Focusing on Charlie Bucket, a young boy from a family so poor that he shares a tiny house with his parents and four aged grandparents, the book tells the tale of what happens when Charlie wins one of five golden tickets hidden inside a Wonka Bar that grants him (and his Grandpa Joe, acting as a chaperone) access to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Reserved a Model 3? You could be getting a Golden Ticket...

Reserved a Model 3? You could be getting a Golden Ticket…

As those who have read the book themselves — or perhaps watched the various successful and not-so-successful film adaptations since — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not just a story about a poor, disadvantaged child winning a ticket to tour a chocolate factory. It’s about a child who, through good manners, honesty and integrity, unknowingly competes against the other five ticket holders during the tour to ultimately become the new heir to the Wonka factory when the childless, single Wonka finally retires.

The original story had five golden tickets, hidden randomly in Wonka chocolate bars around the world. Now it seems Tesla CEO Elon Musk — who we’re guessing grew up with the story just as any other Gen X er — has used the same concept to pick twelve lucky ‘Golden Ticket’ Tesla Model 3 owners that will be given an all-expenses trip to the official opening of the Tesla Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada on July 29th 2016.

We resisted the urge to put Elon Musk in Willy Wonka's outfit.

We resisted the urge to put Elon Musk in Willy Wonka’s outfit.

Sadly, Musk isn’t planning to give away his Tesla empire to one lucky contestant (at least we don’t think so). Nor will there be Oompa Loompas or Chocolate streams to drink from inside the massive Tesla Gigafactory. But those in attendence will be able to see history in the making as the world’s largest lithium-ion manufacturing and reprocessing facility to date opens its doors.

As Electrek explains, news of the publicity stunt came earlier this morning, when one of the twelve lucky Tesla Model 3 owners reported getting an email from

It read as follows:


Congratulations! Through random selection, Tesla has chosen twelve Golden Ticket winners from all those that placed Model 3 Reservations on the opening date to receive an all-expenses paid trip to our Gigafactory Grand Opening event on July 29th, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. We are excited to share that your name was chosen in this drawing and that we’d like to invite you and a guest to join us at the event.

Round trip economy class airfare, transportation, and accommodations will be provided. Tickets are non-transferrable. For additional details and to redeem your package, please contact

We look forward to seeing you and your guest at the event!

Best regards, The Tesla Team

Since the original story broke, Tesla has confirmed that its Golden Ticket giveaway is indeed the real deal, with twelve of the 380,000 or so Tesla Model 3 reservation holders around the world to have put down $1,000 to secure a place in the Model 3 ordering queue chosen at random to meet Musk and the rest of the Tesla executive team at the Gigafactory on July 29.

Do you have a golden ticket? We don't :(

Do you have a golden ticket? We don’t. Photo: Above Reno.

Also joining the lucky few in Reno will be winners of Tesla’s most recent Model S referral program, as well as some key investors and we’re guessing, members of the global press. The rest of us — as with other Tesla events — will have to hope there’s a live stream from Tesla to watch.

Interestingly, we’ve heard several outlets question if Elon Musk is the Willy Wonka of the electric car world and, given the way some hardened fans react, we think he could very well be. But while Wonka had magic (and a little bit of insanity) to help him achieve his goals, Elon Musk just has a team of very dedicated engineers and a whole lot of targets to meet.

Let’s hope he can still bring out the magic.

Have you received a Golden Ticket? Are you hoping there’s one on the way? And how do you feel about Tesla’s latest magical giveaway?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Martin Lacey

    Unlucky me – I didn’t get one – and I’ve always fancied visiting the States!

    • JohnCBriggs

      Come on over, we are not nearly as violent as the media makes us out to be 🙂

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