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eBay pulls auction for man's spot in heaven

May 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

TRENTON, N.J., May 30 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man who offered online bidders his spot in heaven said bidding reached $100,000 before eBay took down his proposal.

Ari Mandel, 31, who lived in an Orthodox Jewish community until he was 23 and now identifies himself as theologically atheist, said eBay removed an auction offering his "Portion in olam habaah [heaven]," after it obtained a high bid of $100,000, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

"It was nice to fantasize," Mandel told The Jewish Forward of his near payday. "But I didn't think it was going to happen."

The auction assured bidders Mandel had steered clear of sin by performing good deeds, refusing to worship false gods and being "98 percent vegan." The description promised Mandel would continue to live a good life to ensure the spot in heaven would remain available for the winning bidder.

Mandel described his posting as a harmless prank.

"To those of you who took this seriously, chill out. It was just a joke," he said. "Whether or not you're a believer in this sort of thing, chill out."

Mandel said he received a call from an eBay representative to inform him that intangible items cannot be auctioned on the site.

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