Oldborough Retreat Competition Suspended at 45,006 Tickets!

Posted on: September 15th, 2008 by Jason 10 Comments

After years of “win a house” competitions never reaching the required number of tickets, could it be that the Oldborough Retreat Devon Estate competition will become the first to complete? As of today (15th September) the tickets sold allocation is 45006 – leaving just under 1000 tickets remaining. At £25 a ticket the competition will have brought in £1.15 million for Brian and Wendy Wilshaw if it reaches the magical 46000 tickets sold.

However, over on the official website there’s news that the competition has been “suspended until Monday”. The reason for the suspension they say is that there’s “only around a thousand tickets left (45,000 sold so far) – and they just want to make sure that we don’t over-sell the remaining tickets”. This does seem a strange move as surely some kind of mechanism was put in place that said “if ticket number > 46,000 don’t sell any more tickets”?

The decision to pause things has caused some annoyance over on the couple’s MySpace Blog where it’s alleged that some comments regarding Sunday’s decision to suspend entries whilst the technical issues were sorted have been deleted.

The Wilshaw’s also claim the suspension is due to “certain Spam filters are blocking the entry number emails getting through”. However surely the emails are sent after a ticket has been purchased making this claim totally irrelevant? All is required is an option to resend confirmation emails!

So is there genuine cause to be concerned?

At the moment we’d say no! It may well be that the techies behind the site didn’t put in features required to cope with the competition completing. However, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Oldborough Retreat Devon Estate to see when the suspension is lifted and what happens if and when all the 46000 tickets have been sold!

Update – The competition is now back running and there are just 288 tickets left!

Join The Conversation

  • Redinhorne

    I must admit when I saw it today I just thought that they were being careful, and were genuine.
    There have been some really awful comments left by people on the myspace page, and I really hope those people don’t win.

    I hope it goes to someone who would genuinely love the opportunity to change their lives and live in a beautiful place, and will respect the property and enjoy running it – people like my mum and dad!

  • kevinwj

    46,000 sold, competition closed

  • hijeff

    all tickets SOLD draw on 16 october in london.

  • Consultantwan

    The draw has been postponed as it is apparently been investigated by the gambling commission with regard to its legality. Considering the media coverage I’m astonished that if the commission had issues with it that they waited till now to object.. bah humbug to them!

    What is the difference between this and a show such as GMTV asking a truly ridiculously easy question and charging you £1.50 to enter for a chance to win (hypothetically) £10,000??? and I see things like that on GMTV most mornings!

    This is innovative and a great opportunity to really change someones life, and far better odds than giving a TV show your cash after they have already decided on a winner (which has been proven to have happened countless times!)

  • hijeff


  • indigowolf

    This all seems very suspicious – to have the draw blocked at this late stage.

    What will happen to the money if the draw cannot take place – the gambling commission SHOULD investigate THAT!!!

  • The money will be returned if the draw cannot make place according to a statement on the Devon Estate website.

  • Consultantwan

    The money is held in a 0% interest account that the Wilshaws have no access to. If it is decided that the draw cannot go ahead then the entrants will be refunded in full. I personally hope the draw goes ahead, i have enjoyed the *hope* of winning the property and the lifestyle.
    I really don’t get why so many people are still suspicious, they are hardly likely to be so open and public about every step if there is anything fishy (scuse the pun) going on. They want to sell their house and retire, they can’t do that in the conventional sense due to the current housing market slump so they have hit on a fantastic idea that means they sell the house and one lucky winner is going to get the property they could have only dreamed of otherwise. As for the rest of us who entered and lost.. well it was a great dream while it lasted.. and well worth the gamble in my opinion. If the gambling commission deem this illegal then they better get prepared because I will be questioning every daytime TV show that offers prizes on the basis of a ridiculously easy question and there are LOTS of them. If its ok to charge a call at £1.50 and answer what rhymes with spot.. dot, ball or cape (I mean really.. would anyone need to do ANY research to answer that.. let alone a reasonable amount) then I think asking a question that the MAJORITY of people (myself included) would need to research the answer to is CERTAINLY ok!

    Come on gambling commission.. do you have one rule for big TV companies and another for the odinary folk??

  • robinstott

    well said

  • robinstott

    maybe the authorities should concentrate on bringing to book, the people responsible for the economic conditions, that make it necessary for ordinary folk to have to think so laterally in order to cash in their lifetime investment, (without asking for government bailouts)