The Mexican town of Ojinaga, in the state of Chihuahua, made international headlines recently for a rather unusual raffle. Instead of being awarded to the winner, the prize – a brand new car – was buried as a time capsule, to be used by the winner’s relatives, 50 years from now.
Who knows if we’ll even be driving cars in 2068, but one thing is for sure – one Mexican family will be the lucky winner of a brand new, unused 2018 car built in the Ojinaga town square, earlier this month. Dubbed “El Viajero Del Tiempo” (The Time Traveler), the car was bought by members of the local association in charge of organising the yearly “El IV Reencuentro Ojinaguense” festival. To make this year’s event special, they thought it would be a good idea to each put up a small sum of money so they could buy a new car, hold a raffle with only one winner, and then bury the car as a time capsule.
The Time Traveler was filled up with photographs, handwritten letters and a bunch of things from 2018 for the people to discover, then lowered into a concrete-lined hole in the town square, using a large crane. It was then sealed in concrete under the disapproving eyes of the crowd, many of which could have come up with a much more practical use for the vehicle.
The unusual raffle and subsequent time-capsule burial sparked controversy in the local community ever since they were announced, three weeks ago. With so few people in Ojinaga who could afford a used car, let alone a new one, many believed that the civil association could have donate it instead of burying it in the ground for 50 years.
One man, who claimed to have been traveling between Ojinaga and Chihuahua City almost daily for the past couple of years, to treat his son’s incurable illness, said he could have probably used that car much more than whoever digs it out 50 years from now.
Some people went as far as to complain about the burial of the new car to the local authorities, who in turn put out a statement that it was the initiative of a civil association, so they could do nothing about it.
Despite all the criticism, organizers decided to go ahead with their original plan to bury The Time Traveler, and the winner of the raffle is now counting the days until he’she can finally unearth their prize.