CRUISE CONTROL: Teen swaps social media username for luxury trip to Spain

: MAKING A SPLASH: Darian after accepting the swap : MAKING A SPLASH: Darian after accepting the swap Carnival Cruise Line/Twitter

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy from the United States is on his way to Spain after a cruise company offered him a €4,000 holiday in exchange for his Snapchat username.

Darian Lipscomb set up the handle @CarnivalCruise on the photo-sharing platform in 2012, when he was aged nine.

“When I was nine-years-old, I went on a cruise and got really excited and wanted to share it with my friends,” the teen told local media in his hometown of Prospect, Virginia.

But American-British firm Carnival Cruise Line decided they wanted the handle for themselves.

Marketing chiefs left signs featuring the brand’s ‘chief fun officer,’ ex-basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, asking ‘Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?’ around the town, before sending a lorry with a giant poster on the side to Darian’s home.

“I answered the door, walked outside and saw my name on a big truck. I was really surprised,” he said.

Darian agreed to trade his username for an all-expenses paid luxury trip to Barcelona on the maiden voyage of the company’s brand new cruise liner, Carnival Horizon.

Organisers of the whacky scheme say he and his family will receive customised surprises throughout the holiday, which will be documented on the operator’s social media accounts.

Carnival official Robyn Fink said: “We thought this would be a fun way to claim our handle and reward a ‘superfan’ at the same time,” before describing the trip as a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

Darian says he has yet to decide what his new Snapchat handle will be.

“I’ll have to think up another name. Maybe another company name,” he quipped.

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Matt Ford

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