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Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass returns this month — here's how to get it

Olive Garden's wildly popular Never Ending Pasta Pass stunt is returning again ... with a twist.
Olive Garden Pasta Pass
Olive Garden
/ Source: TODAY

Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass was first launched in 2014 and since then it has reached a legendary status among carb lovers and thousands of people in search of a great meal deal.

The Italian chain is bringing back the popular promotion this month, and will be giving away 24,000 passes. This year, 50 of those passes will have a very, very special perk.

On August 6, the chain shared a tweet with an usual series of images, captioning the post, "There's more than meets the eye."

“Oh, but what’s this? There’s something new ... A mystery awaits It’s a clue, what to-do?” reads a teaser on the landing page where the pasta passes will be up for sale.

This week, the chain revealed its big secret: For the first time ever, Olive Garden will be offering a Lifetime Pasta Pass to 50 lucky carb lovers, but it will be pretty freaking hard to get one.

“Our fans look forward to Never Ending Pasta Pass every year. What better way to celebrate its return than letting our fans have some fun before the announcement with a sneak peek and the opportunity to uncover the clues to this year’s big announcement?” a representative for Olive Garden told TODAY via email.

Each regular pass costs $100 and entitles any holder to enjoy eight weeks of unlimited pasta with their choice of sauces and toppings, as well as soup or salad and breadsticks for the duration of the Never Ending Pasta Bowl season, which normally runs from late September through mid-November. Last year, there were also limited quantities of a $300 pasta pass available, which allowed holders to enjoy a full year of bottomless pasta.

In past years, these pasta passes have sold out incredibly fast (usually within seconds), which has led to some social media backlash among those whose computers weren't quick enough to make the deal happen. Of course, many of those passes ended up on eBay, where they were often listed for up to 10 times their value.

This year, the first 50 people to complete their Pasta Pass transactions online will be offered the opportunity to buy a Lifetime Pasta Pass for an additional $400 (plus tax), meaning that Olive Garden is valuing decades of unlimited pasta at $500. The chain is also encouraging hungry pasta lovers to join its "online waiting room" at 1:55 p.m. ET before the official website opens.

Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Passes officially go on sale Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m. ET.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

This story was originally published on Aug. 2, 2019.