CHUMPHON, Thailand: A Thai durian trader said on Wednesday (Mar 6) he was cancelling a contest he had announced earlier in the week to help pick a husband for his 26-year-old daughter.
Anont Rotthong, who runs two durian markets in Chumphon, earlier said he would give 10 million baht (US$314,000) in cash, cars, a house and durian plantations to the man who could win his daughter's heart.
The catch: They had to possess the skills needed to take over his durian empire.
"Anyone who knows how to buy and select durian, and source the fruit from orchards can take my daughter's hand.
"I won't ask for a single baht in dowry from him, but will instead give him 10 million baht in cash, 10 vehicles, a house, two durian markets and the daughter who graduated with honours from Assumption University and has a master's degree from Sun Yat-sen University in China," said the 58-year-old in a Facebook post last weekend.
To prove this, aspiring sons-in-law had to participate in a three-month-long "tournament" held at one of his durian farms.
On Tuesday night, the durian entrepreneur announced in another Facebook post he was no longer taking in applications. He said that 10,000 people had responded to his call - an "unexpected" number - and that he did not have a place big enough to accommodate them all.
“Interested sons-in-law, please stop calling me. I’m dying because my phone has been ringing off the hook. Let me rest," he wrote.
Among them was 28-year-old Premyosapon Khongsai, whose pitch in a comment on one of Anont's Facebook posts gained 14,000 likes in mere days.
“I’m interested. I am 28 years old. My family also grows durian in Trat province. We have over 300 trees … I can weather the sun and the rain. I can drive a 10-wheel truck and tractor. Please consider me, father Anont. Thank you," wrote Khongsai in the comment, accompanied by a picture of himself.
However, Anont reportedly wrote him off as being "too handsome". He also said the man would break the heart of his daughter, Kanjasita Rotthong, who said in a TV interview that while she found the contest amusing at first, it stopped being funny after it went viral.
She initially told Bangkok Post that she respected her father's method of helping her find a husband, but later said that no matter the outcome of the contest, the final decision would be hers.
However, it was her father that put an end to the thorny matter.
On Wednesday, he told reporters that he was calling off the tournament. The public interest had become too disruptive to his family and business, Khaosod English reported, adding that the businessman still intended to give the 10 million baht to whoever marries his daughter.