The winning bid of £2,550 for two tickets to John's May Ball was in fact a practical joke played on a student by friends.
The Tab can exclusively reveal that the winning bid of £2,550 for two pairs of John’s May Ball tickets was in fact a practical joke.
eBay user j4imie91 won the tickets with a bid placed just seconds before the auction was due to end. But the bid was in fact placed by the user’s friends who spotted his eBay account still logged on as he left the room.
In an email sent the next day to John’s May Ball Committee, j4imie91 said: “I’m really sorry to have to do this, but I really did not intend to bid this much money for these tickets, I accidentally left my account logged on my laptop and my friends thought this would be a funny joke.
“You can imagine my shock as I woke up to find an invoice for £2,550 in my emails, that I can’t really afford.”
To sort out this costly auction frape James Miong, the owner of the j4imie91 account, suggested they offer the tickets to the next highest bidder and said he would pay the difference.
Miong told The Tab: “I am actually a student here at Cambridge and did intend to make a bid for the tickets initially as I did want to go to the ball, but I set a max price in my head of around £1,500.
“Someone must have thought it was funny to make a really high bid from my account… I went to bed in the evening unaware that this had happened and woke up the next morning to find an email with an invoice for £2,550!”
The banterous bid that almost cost Miong 2 and a half grand
John’s May Ball committee held 3 eBay auctions of tickets to their quincentary ball, raising over £6,000 for charity. The money from the auction Miong took part in had been promised to SOS Children’s Charity, who care for orphaned and abandoned children.
John’s agreed to Miong’s plan, and the tickets are being sold to another bidder for £2,400, with Miong making up the difference .
Miong said: “[I’m] extremely relieved I do not have to pay the full figure, and the money is going to a worthwhile cause which makes it easier to part with! It was very stressful for me, but I am very glad it has been resolved.”
He added: “I am starting to see the funny side of it now it seems to all be sorted and hopefully this will be one big funny story to tell in a few years time!”
Automedon77, the bidder who eventually took the tickets for £2,400, said he bought the tickets: “as a surprise for a couple of friends.
“They couldn’t believe it when I told them – I think they still can’t!
“While it’s obviously a lot of money – I’ve never done anything nearly as extavagent – I doubt I’ll look back in ten years time and regret it.”
It seems it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts…
READ: The Tab’s full commentary on all 3 auctions, as well as all the gossip and rumours on our May Ball Blog.