Win A Mega Home Controversy

Published on 11th January 2019

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Another day, another win a home controversy. This time it’s Win A Mega Home in the spotlight. This competition ended on 31st December 2018 and offered entrants the chance to win a £3million property in Ringwood for the prize of £25 per ticket. The competition, like so many others, failed to generate the required number of tickets for the property awarded. However, the owners – Mark and Sharon Beresford – did sell around 30,000 tickets. This should have meant a big cash winner!

£110,000 Winner

The winner of the competition was announced on the 9th January 2019. The only details that have been released is that the winner is from Christchurch and that they pocketed a prize of just over £110,000. That sounds pretty decent except when you look back on the terms of the competition. As we have previously reported “a cash draw will take place for 75% of the value of tickets sold after costs”.

This means that if £750,000 was generated in ticket sales (assuming 30,000 tickets sold), then £600,000 has been eated up as costs (£110,070 being 75% of £146760). This result has sparked a backlash amongst entrants who are naturally unhappy about the result. The site’s social media pages have been taken down but tweets can still be found. Media outlets, including BBC South and The Sun, seem to have taken an interest in the story.

Spent A Fortune On Adverts

The Sun are reporting Mr Beresford “had been spent a “fortune” on advertising, as well as legal advice when they decided to launch the competition”. Unfortunately for Win A Mega Home another competition has recently ended and offered information about their costs on Facebook. We think it’s worth comparing Win A Mega Home with Win A Maida Vale Home.

Win A Mega Home

Run: 23rd March to 31st December 2018
Ticket Cost: £25
Tickets Sold: Approx 30000
Prize Awarded: £110,070
Charity Donations: ?
Tax & Legal: ?
Website: ?
Payments: ?
Marketing: £500,000+
Prize Draw: ?

Maida Vale

Run: 11th May to 31st December 2018
Ticket Cost: £25
Tickets Sold: Approx 4200
Prize Awarded: £79,350
Charity Donations: £6000
Tax & Legal: £7400
Website: £5900
Payments: £1950
Marketing: £9850
Prize Draw: £180

Just £20K More In Prizes

This means that Win A Mega Home spent x50 more on marketing costs than Maida Vale to achieve x7 more ticket sales. However, they awarded just £20,000 more in prizes and charitable donations (based on information that’s available). The question we’d ask is what advertising was being undertaken by Win A Mega Home. We like to think we’re on the ball with these competitions and don’t ever recall seeing much in the way of adverts. Millionaire Mansion on the other hand have done radio adverts for example.

Call For Transparency

When this kind of thing hits the media it’s no wonder entrants and observers scream “scam”. It most certainly seems odd that one win a house competition spends just over 10% of income of advertising whilst another spends almost 75% – yet there’s little to demonstrate where this money was spent. If win a home competitions are ever going to gain acceptance then they need to be transparent and accountable.

The people behind Win A Maida Vale property have managed to run their competition with transparency. They published their costs and how much was going where within days of the competition ending. Why other competitions can’t do the same we don’t know. We believe that Win A Mega Home should follow Maida Vale’s lead and release a full break down of their costs so entrants can really see who the real winners of the competition were. Whilst someone in Christchurch is no doubt with their £110,000 windfall all others are feeling a little bit cheated by these astronomical costs.

Time For UKGC Guidelines

Win A Home competitions aren’t new – they’ve been running on/off since 2009 – with the recent trend beginning in 2017. Surely two years later The UKGC can have come up with some guidelines about how these competitions should be run? We’d like them to ensure that a skill mechanic is utilised – not a simple multiple choice question.

Costs should be clear especially when an admin fee is added on entry. There should also be full transparency on entry numbers and costs. Until The UKGC sort something out then we’ll see more competitions with the fall out from Win A Mega Home and not enough with the transparency demonstrated by Maida Vale.

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