Olive Garden promised something "bigger" for 2019's sixth annual Never Ending Pasta Pass promotion. And though the passes don't go on sale until Thursday, the Italian chain has revealed that this year, 50 Pasta Pass purchasers will get the deal of a lifetime… literally. For the first time ever, Olive Garden will be selling a very limited supply of Lifetime Pasta Passes.
Let's dive right into the numbers: These truly never-ending, gold-colored passes will cost just $500 each — an incredible deal, really. The chain points out that, since a Never Ending Pasta Bowl typically costs $10.99, the Lifetime Pasta Pass pays for itself after 45 visits. And from there, the value grows exponentially: Olive Garden suggests that if you used the pass to order a bowl a day for the next 60 years, the cost per bowl would be less than three cents — and that's not adjusting for inflation. Of course, there's no guarantee Olive Garden will still be around in 60 years (or that you'll be around for that matter), and even the most dedicated pasta fan isn't going to eat at Olive Garden for 21,915 consecutive days. Still, if you just dropped into Olive Garden once a month, the pass will still have paid for itself in less than four years — and let's be honest: If you had that pass, you'd definitely have lunch at Olive Garden a lot more often.
Meanwhile, the chance at a Lifetime Pass isn't the only upgrade. The remaining 23,950 regular $100 Pasta Passes are getting an upgrade too: This year, they'll run for nine weeks instead of eight weeks — making it that much easier to get your money's worth on unlimited servings of Never Ending Pasta combinations, homemade soup or salad, and breadsticks.
So how do you get a pass this year, including a chance at one of the Lifetime Passes? All passes will go on sale on Thursday, August 15 at exactly 2 p.m. ET for 30 minutes or until they sell out (which usually happens essentially instantly). Olive Garden strongly suggests that customers visit the website early to join the online waiting room starting by 1:55 p.m. ET.
To get a Lifetime Pass, there will be a box users can check to opt-in at the chance for the $500 pass. "On Friday, Aug. 16, the day after the sale, the first 50 Never Ending Pasta Pass holders who opted-into the Lifetime Pasta Pass will be notified that they are the lucky few who can upgrade to the Lifetime Pasta Pass for an additional $400," Olive Garden writes.
So there you have it: You need a little bit of luck to score one of the 24,000 passes to begin with, and a lot more luck to get one of the Lifetime Pasta Passes. But if you want your pasta situation sorted out for the rest of your life, you're just some luck and $500 away.
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