Austrian playboy wants Carmen Electra to Vienna Opera Ball

A wealthy Austrian playboy who keeps the Viennese in suspense each winter over his date to the lavish annual Opera Ball says he's taking former "Baywatch" star Carmen Electra this year. Vienna businessman Richard Lugner confirmed Tuesday that Electra would be his guest to the exclusive Feb. 23 ball, the most prestigious event on Vienna's society calendar.

Lugner invites a celebrity every year, and his past ball dates have included another ex-"Baywatch" star, Pamela Anderson, as well as actress Andie MacDowell, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, singer-actress-model Grace Jones and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

Tickets to the annual ball cost about Ђ215 (US$265) and typically sell out months in advance. With extras such as gowns and tuxedos, flowers, limousines, high-end champagne and lavish dinners, the night typically runs Ђ1,000 (US$1,225) or more, reports the AP. N.U.