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A resident of Antigua married to an Israeli and their daughter will fly into space after winning the Virgin Galactic lottery

The raffles were conducted by the fundraising platform Omaze and Sir Richard Branson raised an expected $1.7 million in grants to support the Space for Humanity project to democratize space travel

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Galactic and representatives of the associations arrived at the home of the winner, Kisha Shaf. PR photo, Virgin Galactic,
Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Galactic and representatives of the associations arrived at the home of the winner, Kisha Shaf. PR photo, Virgin Galactic,

Omaze, the charitable fundraising platform that offers the chance to win prizes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and Virgin Galactic, have revealed that Keisha S. Keisha Shaaf from Antigua and Barbuda is the exclusive winner of two seats on a Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight. Born and raised in Antigua, Keisha is a health and energy coach who is passionate about empowering women to live their best lives. She has always had a lifelong dream to go into space, and hopes to bring her daughter, a high school student majoring in space, as her guest on this amazing journey.

Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson, Omaze CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson, and Space For Humanity CEO Rachel Lyons surprised Keisha at her home in Antigua to tell her of the win.

Launched in July following Virgin Galactic's historic Unity 22 mission, the raffle attracted donations from 164,338 people worldwide in eight weeks who donated $1.7 million in grants to benefit Space for Humanity and their astronaut program. These anticipated grants from Charities Aid Foundation America (CAF America), will help Space for Humanity change perspectives and train candidates to ensure an inclusive future in space.

"The ability to give people of all ages and backgrounds equal access to space, and in turn, the opportunity to lead and inspire others back on Earth, is what Virgin Galactic has been building towards for the past two decades," said Sir Richard Branson, the company's founder. "It will be amazing to be there at the beginning of Kisha's journey into space; She is an extraordinary person and already encourages women in her home in Antigua and Barbuda. This experience will provide her with another platform to inspire many more people in the future. I couldn't be happier to see Virgin Galactic's mission come to life and to work with such amazing partners like Omaze and Space for Humanity in our ongoing commitment to making space accessible to all.”

Omaze offers people the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences to support charities around the world. Their unique model allows people who dream big to experience opportunities that are truly out of this world.

"We couldn't be more excited to announce Keisha as the winner of our biggest sweepstakes to date," said Matt Pohlson, CEO and co-founder of Omaze. "Umaz exists to better dream the world. Not only will professional astronauts get to experience space, but it also helps Space for Humanity open up this opportunity to more people. Because of this, the partnership with Virgin Galactic and Space for Humanity was a dream come true for Omaze as well.”

Keisha will also join Virgin Galactic's community of future astronauts, as the first person from the Caribbean. The future astronaut community is an established and growing family of 700 people from over 60 countries, all united by a shared passion for adventure and the desire to push the boundaries of the human race. Through being members of this community Keisha and her fellow future astronauts will be invited to participate in extraordinary experiences to make new connections and prepare for their journey into space. Along with space anticipation and space readiness, the future astronaut community is using its collective power as a force for good by inspiring students to study STEM through their involvement with Galactic Unite.

"I've always had a lifelong love of flight and an enthusiasm for space, and this is truly a dream come true for me," Keisha said. "It means the world to me. I hope to share this experience with my daughter, so that together we can inspire the next generation to follow their dreams."

Details about the experience that Virgin Galactic passengers will have - A lecture by the company's VP of Marketing, Stephen Attenborough.

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