Whilst 2020 has been a strange year for most, in the win a house competition world it’s been a pretty decent year. Over 80 properties have been offered as prizes and 15 of them have resulted in new home owners. Some serious cash sums have also been won and there’s been a tendancy to run competitions with much higher levels of transparency. Therefore it’s frustrating to end the year on a sour note with a competition that’s been active for over 18 months deciding to pull the plug at the very last minute.
Insufficient Ticket Sales
Draw A House launched in March 2019 and offered entrants the chance to win a 5 bedroomed property in Airdrie. The competition was originally set to close in March 2020 but due to Covid this closing date was extended to the 20th December. After this date a property winner was guaranteed. However out of the blue and before the competition could conclude the owner, Philip Leckie, cancelled the whole thing. As is usual with these things few details have emerged as to why and all social media pages have been closed.
According to comments on Loquax the reason for the cancellation was that insufficient tickets were paid for. Unusually in this competition you ordered tickets and then received a link to pay when your numbers were allocated. It’s suggested that only one third of people actually paid! Receiving one third funds for a property competition usually means a cash prize alternative but this was “guaranteed” to generate a home winner so a cash prize was out of the question without backtracking on the “guarantee”. Therefore we suspect that the owner either had to choose between either losing £x on the property by giving it away or £x on the competition by cancelling.
If you have entered the competition then you should have received a full refund. Some Loquax users have already reported being receiving funds via GoFundMe and Paypal. The latter is interesting because Paypal don’t usually allow raffle sites to utilise their services. We wonder whether this may have also had a bearing on the competitions fate? If you haven’t yet received a refund then we advise contacting Draw A House.
The competition was also meant to raise funds for St Andrews Hospice. They were due to receive “proceeds in excess of the home value” but to date haven’t received a penny. A statement has been issued on their website. The statement gives information for anyone who bought tickets directly from the hospice only. It concludes “We regret any disappointment caused to participants who purchased tickets because of the intended donation to our Hospice”.
Was It A Scam?
A lot of entrants are naturally asking if Draw A House was a scam? The owner would have lost time and money running the competition too so we can’t imagine he’s benefitted from this in anyway. Given that Leckie is refunding all entrants it’s hard to see it as a scam. We have seen a Youtube video featuring the owner explaining the situation and he does seem genuinely upset at the outcome. On a positive note we do know that the winners of the Kid’s colouring competition will receive their prizes.
Taking win a house competitions as a whole the outcome of Draw A House isn’t a good result. It once again throws into doubt these kind of competitions and the people that run them. If this was the first ever house competition you’ve entered you’ll probably distrust the process going forward. Other cancellations such as Winton House and competitions continually moving closing dates don’t help the cause either. If win a house competitions are going to mature in the New Year then they need to be better!
House Competitions In 2021
By the end of 2019 we suspected that the bubble had burst and that interest had fizzled out. Little did we know that they’d be 80+ competitions to list and review. Obviously a platform like Raffall has made things easier for property owners to give raffles a try, but as we’ve seen only those that put in the hours and time pushing their competitions are successful. In fairness things have improved since 2019 and we now have house winners but we still believe that The UK Gambling Commission has got to up their game with respect to “raffles” of all kinds in 2021.
At the moment anyone can set up a site and raffle off anything from their own home to the latest gadgets. In a number of cases such as Cwellyn Dream this has been done to a very high standard but other sites have been well below par. For example not providing terms and conditions, contact details or taking large chunks of the pot for themselves. We don’t know what 2021 will hold for house raffles but it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out.