This week we had planned to tell about another “win a house” competition that had just launched. The prize was a £1.3million home in Blackheath and the entry cost was set at £5. The reason for the sale was that the owner, Renu Qadri, can no longer afford the mortgage and would rather raffle off the home then have it repossesed.
According to The Daily Mail and other more reptuable media outlets, Renu aimed to run the prize draw for six months and hopefully sell 750,000 tickets. The winner would get the house plus a whole host of extras including £12,000 worth of lead crystal chandeliers.
As it stands though, nobody will be winning the £1.3million home! This is because the competition has been suspended. A notice at homeraffler.com says that the owners have been “contacted by the local council informing us we will no longer be able to continue with this draw at this time”. Anyone who has already purchased a ticket will be refunded but they aim to get the raffle reinstated after discussions with the local council and Gambling Commission.
It’ll be interesting to see if this property does come back up as a competition prize. Judging by reports in The Telegraph we don’t expect it will! They report that Qadri purchased the home for just £360,000 on a right-to-buy scheme just three years ago. It seems there may be some right-to-buy and Gambling Commission red tape to overcome before the property can be offered as a prize.
As is, it’s the record holder for the shortest start/stop announcement on Loquax’s “Win A House Watch“, which we’ve now updated for 2017. The reason for the revival of the “watch” is that another listing has faired a heck of a lot better than the Blackheath home. Melling Manor, a six bedroomed home situated in the Lune Valley, is the prize for the winner of Win A Country House. The owner, Dustan Low, has recently updated their current entry numbers and things are looking up.
Over 330,000 Tickets Sold
According to their website, as of April 27th 2017, 331,644 tickets have been sold out of possible 500,000. This is actually pretty impressive given the success rate of these kind of competitions. In many ways it’s following in the footsteps of the original Win A Devon Property competition. A lot of media interest has help ticket sales – and as the numbers start to rise it increases people’s desire to purchase. It’s almost like there’s a critical point when a win a house competition goes from “too good to be true” to “worth a punt” in the minds of entrants.
Credit has got to the current owners who have worked hard to generate interest in the competition. We wonder whether they’ve found it harder work than expected or whether they wish they’d stuck with the old fashioned estate agent route! With just under 150,000 tickets left to be sold we now would expect Melling Manor to be given away as a prize. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more entry updates!
Qadri In A Quandary
Renu Qadri must be kicking herself for not getting the original competition set up correctly. She had picked up press coverage to kick start sales and could easily have used the current Melling Manor success story to build more interest. Perhaps she could have even used Low’s experience to develop her own competition or even get it started as it is offered on the winacountryhouse.com site.
Anyone setting up a win a house competition needs to satisfy the law for prizes/raffles. A few hundred quid spent on seeking out thorough legal advice is nothing when you’re aiming to generate several hundred thousand pounds (or more) in ticket sales. As is, it’s going to be a tough battle for Qadri to win back interest should the Blackheath property return as a competition prize.
As ever we’ll also be keeping our eyes out for more homes to be won – if you know of any do feel free to let us know.