Despite just one property being won in the recent spate of win a home competitions, these kind of contests continue to make the news. There are new competitions, frustrations with ones that have closed, winners and even a run in with Advertising Standards. In this blog post we summarise just what’s happening in the world of online house raffles.
Cash Prize Winners
Quite a few home competitions have closed recently. Amongst them are Your Country Church, Win In Boro, Win The House Of Your Dreams, Win Abode, Win Your Dream Home and Win A Mansion For Christmas. In all cases not enough tickets were sold for the property to be awarded as a prize. Win In Boro named their winner pretty quickly – Mel Pinkney collected a £6905. This represented ticket sales of just 2515! Fairing slightly better was Your Country Church. The owner of this particular property worked tirelessly to promote her competition and generate ticket sales. She did achieve sales of 60,000 tickets but even that wasn’t enough to create a home winner. A Mrs Sterling won the cash prize, although we’ve not been able to determine the exact amount.
The cash prizes if enough tickets aren’t sold can be quite sizeable. Alistair Shotliff from Surrey picked up a cheque for over £100,000 as winner of the Win Abode competition. They also sold around 60,000 tickets but that didn’t come close to the £725,000 worth of tickets they needed to sell in order to giveaway their £700,000 3 bedroom property in Dalston. Although Win Your Dream Home and Win A Mansion For Christmas have both completed, winners of their cash prizes have yet to be announced. We anticipate that both will be concluded within the next few days.
Not Enough Ticket Sales
Win The House Of Your Dreams is a different kettle of fish. This competition features in a recent article from MSN.com. The article doesn’t actually say much but it does entice the reader with a sensationalist headline. In addition the article kind of suggests that having a “free entry route” is the cause. It isn’t! Not every win a house competition offers free entry and guess what… they don’t complete either. Interestingly, Win The House Of Your Dreams website and social media channels have been removed. When we last checked in with those pages a winner hadn’t been announced. However, it was suggested by a poster that the owners were dealing with a medical emergency. Naturally we hope all is well and a winner announcement can wait. However, the promoters haven’t done themselves any favours by removing their website.
We mentioned Win Abode above. They’ve completed their competition and announced a winner. However, that’s not stopped them falling foul of Advertising Standards. A complainant referred them to ASA after seeing the competition advertised to win a £700,00 house, but further down it was referenced as a cash prize because not enough tickets would be sold. The complainant wasn’t happy that “the cash alternative was disproportionate to the value of the property” and “challenged whether the competition had been administered fairly”. Despite Win Abode’s response regarding their promotion, how it was run and the legal advice they’d received, ASA ruled against them. In their assessment they said that “we considered that Win Abode had not awarded the prize as described in the ad, or a reasonable equivalent, and that the promotion was likely to have caused unnecessary disappointment”. This is quite a big ruling for win a house competitions. They are set up with the premise of giving away a property. That property and all it’s features are splashed across social media and their respective websites. If ASA deem that to be in breach of the CAP code then that makes things a little difficult. In our view, as a way to avoid this issue, we think sites should indicate current levels of ticket sales and therefore the value of the prize available – up to a maximum of the “win this house”.
And There’s More
No home winners, not enough ticket sales, online trolls and even ASA issues aren’t enough to put off more folks wanting to run home competitons. We’ve added a number of new competitions to our win a house competitions list. These include the chance to win a semi-detached home in Ireland, a £750,000 villa in Portugal and a flat in Brixton. Even Uri Geller is involved in the whole shebang! If you scroll through this list you’ll also note that we’ve now indicated those competitions that except free entries. Click on “More Details” and you’ll get a more detailed overview of the competition plus a map showing you location. If you want to see where all the home competitions are based then we’ve also created a little Google Map showing the locations of the home competitions.