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WELLINGTON – A cash-strapped New Zealand student who auctioned off her virginity to help pay for university said Wednesday she had accepted an offer of 45,000 dollars (32,000 US) to sleep with a stranger.

The 19-year-old offered her virginity to the highest bidder in an online auction on the website and said there had been more than 1,200 bids.

“I have accepted an offer in excess of 45,000 dollars, which is way beyond what I dreamed,” the student said on her Web page when the auction ended.

“Thank you to the more than 30,000 people who viewed my ad and to the more than 1,200 offers made.”

Calling herself “unigirl”, the young woman had described herself as attractive, fit and healthy, and said she had never been in a sexual relationship.

She did not respond to media requests for an interview but the proprietor of the website, Ross MacKenzie, told the Waikato Times newspaper he had been authorized to confirm the transaction.

The advertisement drew wide reaction in New Zealand, which has some of the world’s most liberal laws on prostitution.

A woman is legally entitled to seek payment for sex and MacKenzie said there was no reason for his website not to accept the advertisement.

“Our approach is provided it’s not illegal or offensive, we’ll run the ad,” he said.

Bruce Pilbrow of the organisation Parents Inc. told the New Zealand Herald it was “horrifically sad” the woman had to sell herself to meet tuition costs, but sexologist Blair Bishop describing it as “just a novel form of sex work”.

Catherine Healy, of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, urged the teenager to contact her organization for “practical information” on the realities of sex work.

Article courtesy of: ABS-CBN news