Nike is releasing its self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II through a frenzy-inducing raffle

Who will get a golden ticket?
Who will get a golden ticket?
Image: Nike
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When Willy Wonka announced that the five children who found golden tickets hidden in his chocolate bars would get to tour his mysterious chocolate factory in Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the world went bonkers. People started buying Wonka’s candy bars by the dozens. Veruca Salt got her ticket because her father forced his factory employees to stop shelling peanuts and start unwrapping Wonka chocolate bars brought in by the truckload.

Nike may be counting on a bit of that frenzy upon the release of its own nearly mythical creation: the Nike Mag, a self-fastening sneaker first imagined for the 1989 movie Back to the Future II. After nearly 30 years of waiting, sneaker fanatics will get a chance at a pair in the weeks ahead. The company announced Oct. 4 that it will raffle off 89 pairs of Mags through a digital drawing, mostly to residents of the US and Canada. All you need is your golden ticket.

The tickets, purchasable through or the Nike+ app, are actually $10 donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, a charity created by the star of the Back to the Future series after he learned he had Parkinson’s disease. “There is no limit to the amount of tickets that can be obtained per individual—the more tickets, the greater chance of winning,” Nike said in the press release. The drawing will begin on Oct. 4 and end Oct. 11, and winners will be notified Oct. 17. The drawing should lead to a sizable donation to help research into Parkinson’s disease, which affects more than 10 million people worldwide.

It should also help build excitement for Nike’s self-tightening HyperAdapt sneaker, its first foray into adaptive footwear for athletes. The HyperAdapt, which is based on the same self-tightening technology as the Mag, goes on sale at the end of next month.

Nike released a version of the Mag once before, in 2011, without the “power laces.“ It auctioned 1,500 pairs on eBay over 10 days, raising $4.7 million, which another charitable organization dedicated to Parkinson’s research matched to bring the total to $9.4 million. Nike says 100% of that money “went to fund critical Parkinson’s research.”

This past October, Michael J. Fox got the first pair of Nike’s self-lacing Mags as Nike announced the first details of a future release. Now 89 people will get to be like Mike.