Premium paid for cheeseburger deal

FRANCESCA LEE
Last updated 05:00 28/12/2012

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A McDonald's cheeseburger costs $2.40 but one fast food fan has paid more than 100 times that for the privilege.

A 15-year-old cheeseburger voucher, dated November 27, 1997, has sold on online auction site Trade Me for $260, with all the money going to charity.

While good for only one burger, the voucher will get the lucky bidder 31, with McDonald's and the Trade Me charities team donating 15 each - one for every year the freebie has been valid.

All proceeds from the auction will go to Oxfam.

The auction attracted more than 44,000 views and 40 bids, after starting from a $1 reserve.

Wellington-based seller Paul Schwalger is sure he got the voucher at school "either for road patrol or cycle safety".

He and his wife found the voucher and the accompanying certificate when they were cleaning out their house in preparation for their move from Christchurch to Wellington.

They took it with them and found it again when cleaning out paper at their new home.

The voucher, redeemable only in Christchurch, specifies the holder should be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they present it at a McDonald's restaurant.

"We had a laugh about going to McDonald's with my dad when we came to Christchurch," Schwalger said.

"One of the boys at work said, ‘Put it on Trade Me'.

"We were just hoping to get awareness for Oxfam and hoping heaps of people would see it."

Schwalger is part of a four-person team taking part in a 100-kilometre Trail Walk for Oxfam in April, aiming to raise $2000 for the charity.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said his team had spotted the auction before Christmas and had decided to throw in 15 extra burgers for a bit of festive fun.

"We did it to avoid any doubt about whether it would be honoured," he said.

It contacted McDonald's and asked if the fast-food chain would honour the voucher, which it promised to do, along with offering another 15 burgers.

Trade Me will not charge its usual commission.

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- The Press

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