Given that Win The House Of Your Dreams and Win Your Dream Home have recently faced the “wrath” of Advertising Standards, you’d think that other competitions would take note. After all you don’t want to be next to get a rap on the wrists from ASA and told to do things properly. However we’re betting that Millionaire Mansion might well be the latest home competition to appear on the rulings lists. The reason for this prediction is that they’ve gone and upset their entrants by extending their closing date – by a whole year!
Win A £2.3Million Property
The Millionaire Mansion competition launched in December 2017 and offered a £2.3million property as the property prize. Tickets for the competition cost £10.50 with 1,000,000 entry forms required to close the competition before it’s set closing date of November 2018. A minimum of 500,000 tickets needed to be sold for the house to be won. Today we received an email from a user saying that our closing date details were incorrect! We regularly review terms and conditions so were surprised to hear the closing date was in fact November 2019.
However, we were both right! Our date was correct at time of writing but we’ve since learnt that Millionaire Mansion have since extended their closing date to 2019. We understand that this extension was not part of the original terms. In fact the terms stated that if less than 500,000 tickets are sold then a cash prize of at least £100,000 will be awarded. By extending the closing date we can conclude that not enough tickets have been sold to offer the house as a prize. Therefore by the nature of the terms then a cash should be in place.
A ‘One-Off’ Extension
In a message to entrants the organisers of the competition, Olgivie Promotions, said “We have decided to put in place a one-off extension of the competition, for it to run through to 30 November 2019. Of course, this means that, as a ticket holder, you won’t know whether you have a prize, for another 12 months”. As you’d expect this extension has upset many entrants who have already invested in the competition and expected it to end this month. A number have posted on Facebook and are considering reporting Millionaire Mansion to ASA and Trading Standards.
Extensions aren’t unusual with win a house competitions. Many place a clause in their terms that give them the flexibility to extend the closing date in light of poor ticket sales. Whilst this isn’t best practice it’s at least known to the entrant when they choose to pay for a ticket. In respect to Millionaire Mansion there were no such clauses. The only clause they have with respect to having an extension is: “in the event of exceptional circumstances outside its control which affect its ability to operate the Competition”.
This competition did have some technical issues towards the start of it’s campaign but we received an email in February stating the site had new developers and issues with emails had been resolved. Therefore at most, and throwing in some very liberal allowances, these technical issues warrant a maximum 3 months extension. To extend the competition by 12 months is a disgraceful decision!
Millionaire Mansion has received a lot of publicity and they’ve even run radio adverts. Despite this the promoters haven’t revealed how many tickets they’ve sold to date. We’d advise caution to anyone considering purchasing tickets for this competition.