Tags: obama | bowling | ebay | bid

Obama's Bowling Lane Doesn't Strike It Rich Yet

By Mike Tighe   |   Friday, 14 Nov 2008 05:15 PM

Nobody has coughed up enough spare change even to bid in a fundraiser selling the Pennsylvania bowling lane that then-candidate Barack Obama made famous when he infamously rolled a gutter ball during the primary campaign season.

Perhaps the starting bid of $50,000 on eBay is too steep for the average Joe the bowler. After all, that wouldn’t get the whole bowling alley in Altoona, Pa., where Obama tried his luck as he campaigned March 29. It would buy just Lane 21, where he landed in the gutter, with adjoining Lane 22 tossed in, because who wants to split a pair? Also are the gutters, the ball returns, two pin setters, online scoring system, and bowling circle where Obama sat.

Although the bid is obviously a lot more than just old-fashioned pin money, shipping is FREE, with the seller also paying up to 10 grand to take the lanes apart and ship them. The buyer would pay anything above that, as well as whatever it costs to reassemble everything.

The auction, which started Thursday and lasts until 9 p.m. ET Nov. 23, had attracted no bids as of 6 p.m. ET Friday. Theoretically, a bidder could pick up the package for less than $50,000, provided that he hits at least the secret reserve price.

Part of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics, said Jean Montgomery, co-owner of the Pleasant Valley Recreation Center where Obama bowled.

"We are offering this piece of history to the lucky bidder," Montgomery said in a news release. "It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the most talked-about bowling lanes in political history."

The bowling establishment is a long-time donor to the Special Olympics and is using the auction to increase its donation, Montgomery said.

The winner can even have the shoes (they are size 12) Obama rented and the ball he used, co-owner Robert DiVentura said.

It’s no magic ball, though, as the now-president-elect southpaw managed to score only a 47 while bowling seven frames. His inauspicious performance provided fodder for late-night talk-show jokes throughout the campaign.

He even poked fun at himself, telling other bowlers in the Altoona alley that Saturday night: "My economic plan is better than my bowling."

Of course, that was before the economy went in the gutter, too.

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