Every year, Hollywood's finest parade down the Academy Awards red carpet of the iconic Dolby theatre donning fabulous gowns and immaculate tuxes with the hopes and dreams of winning the highest accolade of the US film industry — the Oscar.
And over the decades, as we've witnessed scores of beaming faces ascend to the podium to gush over their gold-plated statuette, we've seen hundreds disappointed to lose out on the chance of a lifetime. Thankfully though, after they're done wiping away their tears, the unlucky ones have the opportunity to delve deep into the opulent world of the unofficial Oscars goodie bag.
For years, US marketing firm Distinctive Assets handed out these luxurious prizes to nominees at the Dolby, with last year's recipients bagging an array of gifts ranging from a "vampire" breast lift, a 15-day walking tour of Japan and a VIP trip to Israel, to unlimited Audi car rentals and a $250 "arouser" offering "gentle suction and stimulation." Fast forward to 2017, and although no vibrators are reported to be on the list this year, nominees will be getting to indulge in the following eclectic selection come February 26:
- A three-night stay at the Lost Coast Ranch in California, worth $22,000
- A 10-year supply of oxygenating makeup products, worth $47,500
- 10 sessions with celebrity trainer Alexis Seletzky, worth $1500
- A six-day holiday in Hawaii on the sun-kissed beaches of Kauai, probably also worth an insane amount
- Three days at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como in Italy, where a one night's stay costs $1000
- A home automation kit, worth $600
- A CPR kit from the American Heart Association, worth $40
- Underarm sweat patch, worth $30
- A chapstick, worth $5
All in all — give or take a few other items – this year's goodie bag is estimated to cost a whopping $200,000, which is probably why everyone wants to get their perfectly-manicured paws on it.
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However, while that's all well and good, there's a catch that not many people know about — there's a reason why the goodie bag is now branded as being "unofficial" and it all goes back to the Academy's collision with the US's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) back in 2006.
Essentially, back then, investigators made the decision that all those claiming the lavish "official" gifts at the ceremony had to treat them as income. That's because:
"[They were not given] solely out of affection, respect or similar impulses."
A luxury gift with a hefty tax obligation? Doesn't quite sound so good now, does it? And considering this year the IRS will be also keeping their beady eyes on the goings on at the Academy, it's likely that this tax bill will continue to be enforced. Naturally, this will certainly make it a lot harder for failed nominees to attempt to turn that frown upside down post-ceremony.
There is a silver lining amongst it all though — to avoid waving a fine farewell to that huge tax bill for the pleasure of slathering their face with oxygenated products, stars will have the option to donate their whole hoard to charity. Well, isn't that nice?
Having said that, something tells me that keeping the $5 chapstick won't be an issue.
Which Oscars goodie bag item would you want the most?
(Source: The Guardian)